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TRW develops electronic turn signal stalk

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Filed under: Etc., Technology, Ford

, supplier of systems and components to automakers, has introduced its latest generation steering column control module for the Ford SuperDuty and F-150, Edge/MKX and Explorer. Why is this news, and what the heck is a steering column control module?

In the old days (the 1990s), a bunch of individual pieces were fastened to the steering column. Turn signals were a separate part from the airbag system's clockspring, which was a unique piece from the multifunction switch. Each of those bits cost something to produce and procure, not to mention the wiring required to integrate the functions into the car. Supplier problems with just one piece could idle the supply of the whole assembly for days.

Modern serial communication and control systems have created a solution for these problems, and that's the steering column control module, a single component that integrates all the functions of those many individual pieces. The amount of wiring is reduced, reliability is up thanks to new electronic techniques supplanting older wear-prone designs and with fewer contracts to secure and pieces to ship and inventory, a better per-unit cost can be negotiated. TRW's new module includes all sorts of stuff like headlamp switches, turn signals, tilt/telescope control, hazard lamps, steering angle sensor and electronic turn signal cancel, which is unique to the new Ford modules. Tuning to customer preferences reduces complaints and increases satisfaction, too. It may sound a lot more complex, putting a computerized module in place of what was once simple switches and relays, but this is a case of newer being clearly better. Full press release posted after the jump.
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TRW develops electronic turn signal stalk originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Jan 2011 08:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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