Schaeffler Paravan receives AutomotiveINNOVATIONSAward 2020
Space Drive as an important technology for transformation in the automotive industry.
"Schaeffler Paravan is being honoured this year as the most innovative supplier in the category of automated driving and driver chassis systems for the Space Drive drive-by-wire system," was the verdict of the eight-member jury of experts. The Swabian inventors received the AutomotiveINNOVATIONS Award for the Space Drive multi-redundant driving and steering system. Since 2012, the prize has been awarded annually to OEMs and suppliers in a total of 16 categories by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Center of Automotive Management (CAM). This year, 309 innovations from automotive suppliers competed for the coveted prizes. In the end, the Space Drive technology prevailed over the other nominees. "A unique technology with a remarkable history of development, which receives its well-deserved recognition with the Automotive Innovations Award," confirms Felix Kuhnert, Global Automotive Leader at PwC.
"We are proud to have a product that is unique in the world. With it, we provide a unique technology that the industry needs to realise its visions of autonomous driving and new vehicle concepts," says Roland Arnold CEO of Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG and founder and Managing Director of PARAVAN GmbH.
"With Space Drive, Schaeffler Paravan is active in the future field of automated driving and implements important driving functions with steer-by-wire using electronic control signals while taking functional safety into account," emphasises Prof. Stefan Bratzel, CAM Director and Chairman of the expert jury. "The company thus demonstrates a high level of competence in a growth area of the industry." For the expert jury, the drive-by-wire system represents a step towards the realisation of autonomous mobility. In its statement, it attests to the high benefit for the implementation of automatic driving functions. "To date, Space Drive is the world's first and so far only drive-by-wire system with road approval and corresponding redundancies that guarantee functional safety," it continues.
We are proud to have a product that is unique in the world.
"It is impressive what can result from innovative thinking and hard work. Space Drive from Schaeffler Paravan is playing a major role in shaping the future of autonomous driving and, with this innovation, is not only setting an important milestone in the transformation history of the automotive industry, but is also making an important contribution to society through its use in vehicles for the disabled," said Kuhnert.
A total of 16 prizes were awarded in two categories - OEM and supplier. This year's winners include well-known players in the industry such as Volkswagen, Porsche, Tesla and the suppliers Bosch and ZF. A total of 309 innovations from automotive suppliers were evaluated. The innovations come from 14 fields of technology.
The Space Drive technology originated from mobility for the disabled. To enable independent mobility for people with severe mobility impairments, PARAVAN GmbH developed the first TÜV-tested fully redundant drive-by-wire system "Space Drive 1" by 2005, which was revised with a completely redesigned safety architecture by 2013. The computer unit (ECU) meets the highest requirements of functional safety according to ISO 26262 ASIL D and is thus a key technology for autonomous driving in Level 4 and 5, road-approved and tested over a good billion kilometres.
"With the Space Drive System, we can practically already reach Level 5 of autonomous driving," emphasises Roland Arnold. "No supplier or car manufacturer has a steer-by-wire system with which you can already drive without a steering column. The redundancy is integrated in our system. In today's practice, humans have to intervene in the steering wheel as a redundancy. This results in completely different possibilities for redesigning vehicle interiors; in the future, you can think of the car in a completely new way."
The joint venture founded in 2018, Schaeffler PARAVAN Technologie GmbH & Co. KG - 90 per cent of which is held by global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler Technologies AG and ten per cent by PA-RAVAN founder Roland Arnold - will now further develop the technology and in-dustrialise it by the end of 2022. "The steering column will fall," Arnold is certain. Development vehicles - road vehicles as well as racing cars - equipped without a mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear are currently being tested for this purpose under extreme conditions. An important milestone last year was the approval of the Audi R8 LMS GT3 technology carrier by the Deutscher Motor Sport Bund e. V. (DMSB). (DMSB) within the framework of the DMC GTC. In the meantime, the technology has become an integral part of the regulations for the GTC Race - as the racing series is called this year. At the same time, the technology is also being tested in test vehicles on the road - road-legal and also without mechanical connection.
In the third generation of Space Drive, the system will be completely revised. Schaeffler-Paravan will integrate more powerful electric motors and electronics as well as completely revised and customisable / modular software. The system architecture is based on the classic Autosar standard. The features are developed on a "state of the art" model basis and can be individually adapted to each vehicle type. The software complies with the latest automotive regulations with the corresponding functional safety standards and is certified to ISO 26262 ASIL D. Space Drive 3 thus represents the basic development for large-scale series maturity.