The automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler recently unveiled ‘Space Drive 3 Add-ON’(pictured), the third generation of its Space Drive drive-by-wire system featuring a ‘multiple redundant technology’ that paves the way for autonomous driving.
At the recent IAA Mobility 2021
also premiered its force-feedback handwheel actuator (HWA), ‘intelligent’ rear wheel steering (iRWS) technology, and a new rolling chassis/vehicle platform that ‘opens the way to completely new forms of autonomous mobility’.
Matthias Zink, Schaeffler’s CEO of Automotive Technologies, said: “Thanks to our work in this area, we are fast becoming the technology partner of choice for highly integrated chassis solutions. Combined with our electric drive technologies, these solutions represent pioneering innovations in autonomous mobility.
“The key to it all is the wealth of expertise in components and systems that we have amassed over many decades and that we are now able to apply at the whole-vehicle level.”
Schaeffler’s Space Drive steer-by-wire system transmits driving and steering commands to the vehicle wheels via purely electronic signals, opening the way for autonomous driving.
“Viktor Molnar, head of chassis systems at Schaeffler, said: “Space Drive 3 is a major milestone for us. It means we can offer our customers a production-ready steer-by-wire system that is highly scalable and extremely flexible — and it can record every steering parameter, which in self-driving vehicles enables feedback for the advanced driver assistance system (ADAS).”
Schaeffler’s HWA is a mechatronic solution that replaces the conventional steering wheel and mechanical steering column, reducing the amount of space required for the steering system and ‘opening up new possibilities for the design of cab interior’. Combined with the Space Drive steer-by-wire system and mechatronic actuators on the steering gear, it provides intelligent front wheel steering (iFWS).
The rolling chassis is a modular and scalable vehicle platform that enables new, driverless mobility solutions for passenger and freight transport, as well as for specialised applications such as cleaning machines. Its flexible architecture supports a broad array of steering and drive variants to suit customer requirements.