The Schaeffler Group in cooperation with Roland Arnold and Paravan GmbH has signed a master agreement for the formation of a joint venture company.
The company named Schaeffler Paravan Technologie will acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology and will work on its further development along with the sale of mobility systems.
SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology was developed by Paravan GmbH to help drivers with physical disabilities by replacing cumbersome mechanical vehicle control systems with 100%-reliable, fully electronic systems.
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.
In the joint venture, Schaeffler Technologies will have a 90 percent stake in the new company. It has its operational headquarters in Aichelau and Herzogenaurach and will be headed by a team comprising Paravan founder Roland Arnold as CEO, and Dr. Dirk Kesselgruber, head of the business division Chassis Systems at Schaeffler, and one other, yet-to-be-decided, employee of the Schaeffler Group. However, the transaction is pending regulatory approval by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. The parties have agreed not to disclose the financial details of the deal.