Schaeffler acquires drive-by-wire technology for AVs

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The Schaeffler Group in cooperation with Roland Arnold and Paravan GmbH agreed on a master agreement for the formation of a joint venture company. The transaction is pending regulatory approval by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.

The object of the joint venture company, which will be called Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH und Co. KG, is the further development of Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology and the development and sale of mobility systems. As part of the transaction, the joint venture will acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE technology. Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG will have a 90 percent stake in the new company.

Alongside electronic accelerator and brake activation, SPACE DRIVE features steer-by-wire functionality, which enables safe and reliable vehicle steering by purely electronic means, thereby eliminating the need for a steering wheel, steering column and associated mechanical linkages.

Steer-by-wire is a key enabling technology for self-driving cars, for which safe and highly reliable steering is a fundamental requirement. Even in part-time autonomous passenger cars with steering wheels, the space saved by eliminating the steering column opens up completely new possibilities for vehicle and cab interior design. SPACE DRIVE features triple redundancy and is currently the only integrated drive-by-wire solution in the world to be manufactured in accordance with the highest quality and safety standards including certification according to the extremely exacting ISO 26262 ASIL D functional safety standard.

Consequently, is the only system of its kind to be licensed for on-road use in multiple countries worldwide, while at the same time having the potential for technical and commercial viability in large-series automobile production. SPACE DRIVE also has an unblemished record of over 500 million kilometers of accident-free driving.

Source: Schaffler