DETROIT -- TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. on Tuesday announced new contracts for its electronic steering systems software.
The suburban Detroit safety systems supplier secured contracts for the software with European and North American carmakers, including Ford Motor Co. for its Fiesta, Focus and C-Max. The values of the contracts were not released.
The programmable software has many functions, including detecting whether a vehicle is drifting from its lane and making automatic adjustments, reducing vibration in the steering wheel caused by uneven roads and automatic parallel parking.
The software also will allow the driver to change the vehicle's steering system for better handling, including a "city mode" that would require less effort for the driver to turn the wheel.
"These functions are controlled through software and can be programmed quickly to allow for the desired outcome," Frank Lubischer, vice president for TRW steering engineering, said in a statement. "The electric steering system can be programmed to respond intelligently to varying vehicle and environmental conditions, such as different tire types, payloads or road surfaces."
The software combines other TRW systems, including its driver-assist technology, to enhance driver safety through technological advances.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reviewing such systems, and mandates for these technologies are expected in the next decade in an attempt to make cars safer.
TRW ranks No. 11 on the Automotive News Europe list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $14.4 billion in 2010. Europe accounted for 51 percent of that total.