On July 1, UD Active Steering, a technology that greatly enhances steering precision and driver comfort, was introduced to select heavy-duty Quon models in Japan. The following is an interview with UD Trucks engineers, Hideyuki Koshikawa, Takuya Takagiwa and Kazunori Nagata. They share the story behind the development of this revolutionary technology.
Reimagining the drivability of heavy-duty trucks
Koshikawa: In developing UD Active Steering, we started with the driver and asked what they expected in terms of steering performance. We found that new or inexperienced drivers expected heavy-duty trucks to be easy to steer, in the same way as passenger vehicles.
Nagata: In the past, drivers had to adapt to and master the steering characteristics of heavy-duty trucks. Over time, vehicles have evolved and drivability has improved, but UD Active Steering is a major leap forward. Steering feels lighter at low speeds and firmer and more stable at high speeds. In addition, by reducing the play of the steering wheel, the driving experience is similar to that of a passenger vehicle. It is no exaggeration to say that UD Active Steering will completely change the image of heavy-duty trucks for the better.
Easing driver stress and fatigue
Takagiwa: UD Active Steering not only adjusts the weight of the steering wheel according to the vehicle speed, but also monitors the driver's subtle movements to optimize steering performance. When driving on rough or rutted roads, the driver unconsciously experiences fatigue. Eye or shoulder strain is a typical example. UD Active Steering reduces both physical and mental stress by providing continuous steering corrections that keep the vehicle straight and on course, even when the driver is not consciously moving the steering wheel.
Nagata: Our vehicle development team optimized the driving experience for any scenario, and we think that the development of UD Active Steering has brought us much closer to a heavy-duty truck that even beginners can confidently drive from day one.
Koshikawa: We believe that reducing driving fatigue and providing a driving environment with minimum stress is welcomed not only by young or less experience in drivers, but any driver – male or female, young or old.
Takagiwa: Heavy-duty trucks supporting safety, security, and comfort will no doubt encourage more people to enter the trucking profession, helping address the shortage of drivers in our industry. In that sense, the impact of a technology like UD Active Steering can indeed be revolutionary.
Koshikawa: Our vehicle development team will continue to be sensitive to changes in the market and driver needs. We will continue to devote our efforts to develop vehicles that put drivers first.
For media enquiries, please contact:
UD Trucks is a leading Japanese commercial vehicle solutions provider, active in more than 60 countries on all continents. Since its inception in 1935, the company has been an innovation leader with a clear vision to provide the trucks and services the world needs today.
The company is committed to go the extra mile for smart logistics with the most dependable solutions for demanding customers. To best support across applications and geographies, UD Trucks offers a full range of heavy duty trucks - Quon and Quester, medium duty trucks - Condor and Croner, and light duty trucks - Kazet and Kuzer, as well as associated operational and financial services.