The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler (www.schaeffler.com
) says electric mobility is one of the most important driving forces for the future, adding that it is against this background of increasing vehicle electrification and automation that the company has been working with several project partners to develop concepts and prototypes for new steering systems.
After three years, the OmniSteer project group, which received a subsidy of 1.9 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, is set for a successful completion.
In combination with the ‘Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module’ and wheel suspension that allows wider steering angles, ‘functionally reliable’ mechatronic lateral and transverse (distance and lane) guidance systems have been developed, which will make greater vehicle manoeuvrability possible in the future.
Project manager Paul Haiduk said: “The initial prerequisite for OmniSteer is the electrification of the drive train and, in a subsequent step, the corresponding integration of the drives into the wheels.
“The major advantage of having a wheel steering angle of 90deg in each direction and wheels that can be steered individually, is that it is possible to transition from driving in a straight line to parallel parking, without any intermediate stops along the way.
“Depending on the situation, the driver can switch between front-wheel, rear-wheel, and all-wheel steering. Even turning on the spot is possible.”
OmniSteer has been carried out over the last three years as part of the SHARE (Schaeffler Hub for Automotive Research in E-Mobility) research co-operation at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT).
A consortium made up of several participants worked on the project.
In addition to Schaeffler, these included: Paravan GmbH (a market leader in the field of vehicle conversions for people with disabilities); Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH (a developer of intelligent visual sensor systems); and KIT’s information technology research centre (FZI) and institute of vehicle systems engineering (FAST).