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Schaeffler and Paravan JV to acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology

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The Schaeffler Group in cooperation with Roland Arnold and Paravan GmbH agreed on a master agreement for the formation of a joint venture company. The transaction is pending regulatory approval by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office.
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The Schaeffler Group in cooperation with Roland Arnold and Paravan GmbH agreed on a master agreement for the formation of a joint venture company. 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. The object of the joint venture company, which will be called Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH und Co. KG, is the further development of Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology and the development and sale of mobility systems. As part of the transaction, the joint venture will acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE technology.

Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG will have a 90% stake in the new company. A leading drive-by-wire technology, SPACE DRIVE 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, it 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 kilometres of accident-free driving.

The new joint venture company will have 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.

Schaeffler AG Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer Prof. Dr. Peter Gutzmer said, “Today’s agreement is a major milestone for Schaeffler. The acquisition of this tried and proven drive-by-wire technology gives us access to a key technology that will enable us to develop our Chassis Systems business division into a chassis systems integrator. The rolling chassis business is a decisive 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. Today’s deal is therefore another major step towards achieving our ‘Mobility for tomorrow’ strategy."

Under the deal, the Schaeffler Group will contribute its Schaeffer Mover technology to the joint venture, where it will play a pivotal role. Schaeffler Mover is a concept for a small and highly versatile rolling chassis that is fully electric and can be combined with various body versions to support a range of different urban mobility and transport applications. Schaeffler unveiled the Mover concept to the public for the first time at its 2018 Annual General Meeting.


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Schaeffler and Paravan JV to acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology
Modified on Monday 6th August 2018
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Schaeffler and Paravan JV to acquire Paravan’s SPACE DRIVE drive-by-wire technology
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