[aprssig] D700 vs Prius

Stephen H. Smith wa8lmf2 at aol.com
Wed Mar 28 18:17:03 EDT 2007

jim at stuckinthemud.org wrote:
> I didn't think there were any production cars that had steer-by-wire
> systems?
> Virtually everything else yes, but my understanding was that the primary
> braking and steering still had to be essentially mechanical, assisted
> perhaps, but still work if the rest of the car dies.
> IIRC Car manufacturers now have to do specific RF tests and make the results
> available on demand via the dealers, so you know what it's been tested and
> guaranteed for, so long as the equipment is installed as per their
> instructions.

The steering is still mechanical, but the power assist is electric.  
Since the gas engine is the Prius isn't always running, all the 
peripheral systems traditionally belted or geared to the crankshaft of a 
gas engine(water pump, A/C, power steering, power brakes, radiator fan, 
etc) are electrically powered in the Prius.   

BTW, both the gas engine and the 60KW / 50 HP AC electric motor are 
plumbed into the water cooling system circulated by the electric coolant 
pump.   (The 50HP three-phase 440VAC electric traction motor is about 
the same size as a normal 2HP AC motor that might be used in a big table 
saw or well jet pump.)  

It's not just the Prius either. Many new models are getting "electric 
everything". My '06 Jetta TDI (turbo-diesel) also has electric-assist 
power steering rather than the traditional hydraulic variety.  Makes it 
much easier to implement variable assist power purely in firmware.


Stephen H. Smith    wa8lmf (at) aol.com
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