The Spirit of Monozukuri—4 The Spirit of Monozukuri—4
The Story Behind the Development of the Electric Power Steering Column The Story Behind the Development of the Electric Power Steering Column

Share Ideas, Work as a Team to Make a Car That Is Safe in a Collision Share Ideas, Work as a Team to Make a Car That Is Safe in a Collision

The team was close to finalizing the design.
But, as you may know, the last mile is always the hardest.
There remained component construction for ensured safety.

A simplified mechanical structure was essential to meet the additional requirements for securing the clearance on the lower side and the stroke of the steering wheel.
So, the designer repositioned the drive motor, to ensure the clearance column stroke needed.
One problem was solved. But, there were more to come.

Next, the team tackled with reducing the number of parts.
This was addressed by letting the tilt and telescopic mechanisms share one drive unit.
In that way, the number of parts decreased a lot, while reducing the weight as a whole.

A lot of parts mean a lot of costs.
They cut the number of part types by 35%, the number of parts by 15%, and the weight by about 25%.

All project planners, production managers, and engineers poured enthusiasm and devotion, putting their heads together to bring about success.

The final configuration was filed in early 2000.
Aisin's design became the choice for the Lexus GX 470 released in November 2001 and all the later power steering column-equipped models.

Lexus GX 470 power steering column Lexus GX 470 power steering column
Lexus GX 470 power steering column

Ever-Evolving Power Steering Columns Form a Cornerstone of the Drivetrain Business Ever-Evolving Power Steering Columns Form a Cornerstone of the Drivetrain Business

In the 2000s, recreational vehicles started to come with electric power steering columns initially designed for high-end vehicles.
Domestically, the year 2002 saw the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado run with a power steering column, and, in the ensuing 2003, the Toyota Harrier followed suit.
The Crown, Crown Majesta (2004), Aristo and Windom (2005) selected Aisin-made steering columns.

August 2003 marked the first power steering column production on the Drive Train line at Aisin North America. The line now boasts a monthly output of 5,000 to 7,000 units for the Harrier alone.

Targeting the Chinese market, Aisin Tianjin Body Parts started production of steering columns for the Crown in 2005. This completed the build of tripolar production in Japan, North America, and China.
Years of struggling quickly became a thing of the past.

Advanced features keep being added.
Latest power steering columns provide, aside from tilt and telescopic mechanisms, driver comfort and protection against car theft.
Newer models memorize steering wheel positions best suited for drivers and lock handles after the vehicle has been parked.
The Auto-Away-Return moves up the steering wheel when you pull out the key and returns it to the position for driving right away when the key is inserted.

Electric steering columns never stop evolving.
They attract global manufacturers for their outstanding performance, soundproof features, and low pricing.

Always forward-looking when it comes to solving problems and motivated to produce the best products

—that is what built a cornerstone of the drivetrain business at Aisin Seiki.

Power Tilt & Telescopic Steering Column

The tilt mechanism adjusts the steering wheel angle vertically; the telescopic mechanism allows forward/backward adjustment of the steering wheel position. Designed for reduced driver fatigue and easier getting in/out of the driver's seat.