The Schaeffler Group has signed an agreement with Roland Arnold and Paravan to form a joint venture to develop Paravan’s Space Drive drive-by-wire technology. Schaeffler Technologies will have a 90% stake in the new business, Schaeffler Paravan Technologie.
Space Drive is designed to help drivers with physical disabilities by replacing cumbersome mechanical vehicle control systems with fully electronic systems.
Alongside electronic accelerator and brake activation, Space Drive features steer-by-wire functionality, which enables safe and reliable vehicle steering purely electronically, thereby eliminating the need for a steering wheel, steering column and associated mechanical linkages.
Even in partially autonomous vehicles 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 manufactured in accordance with the requirements of the ISO 26262 ASIL D functional safety standard.
In addition, as part of the deal Schaeffler Group will contribute its fully electric rolling chassis concept, Schaeffer Mover, which can be combined with various vehicle bodies to support a range of different applications.
The headquarters of Schaeffler Paravan Technologie will be located in Aichelau and Herzogenaurach in Germany, and lead by a team comprising Paravan founder Roland Arnold as CEO; Dr Dirk Kesselgruber, head of chassis systems at Schaeffler; and one further Schaeffler Group employee.
“We are both delighted and immensely proud to have on board such a competent and successful partner as Mr Arnold for this pioneering collaboration,” commented deputy CEO and chief technology officer at Schaeffler, Prof. Dr Peter Gutzmer.
“Today’s agreement is a major milestone for Schaeffler. The acquisition of this tried and proven drive-by-wire technology will enable us to develop our chassis systems business division into a chassis systems integrator.
“The rolling chassis business presents an opportunity for Schaeffler to leverage its core competencies to gain a technological foothold in the fast-growing autonomous car market, helping to further diversify our powertrain and chassis businesses.”