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Space Drive technology

The mobility of the future will be different than today. This means vehicle steering technology will also change in the coming years. Steering technology in the next generation of vehicles will be digital. This enables the integration of electronic signals from various input sources (e.g. GPS, radar, lidar, joystick, etc.) into an existing mechanical steering connection and also facilitates driving without a mechanical steering column – by wire!

Drive-by-wire in a new dimension

With Space Drive 2 AddOn, Schaeffler ByWire offers a fail-safe steer-by-wire system. The system already makes it possible for the steering column to be omitted and therefore does not require a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and the steering gearbox.

Space Drive 2 is a fully coordinated system consisting of hardware and software with a specially developed safety concept. The system enables multi-redundant control of the engine, brakes and steering. It provides the basis for manual driving without a steering column and for the different levels of autonomous driving.

How Space Drive Works – An Overview

At the heart of the Space Drive system is an ECU (Electronic Control Unit), a control unit with an individually tailored software package and a revolutionary safety concept. The ECU software processes digital or analog input signals in real time. It simultaneously analyzes these input signals alongside key vehicle data, such as the brake signal and speed. After a logical validity check, it then transmits these signals to the servo motors to control the accelerator, brake pedal and steering. The vehicle steers, brakes and accelerates exclusively “by wire,” i.e. without mechanical connections.

Overview of product features:

  • Fail-safe system (fail-operational) due to triple-redundant ECU and redundant actuators
  • 12-V and 24-V system voltages
  • Redundant power supply (backup battery)
  • Road approval pursuant to ECE-R-13, ECE-R-79 and ECE-R-10 (ISO 16750-P5) in Europe, as well as acceptance and use worldwide
  • Add-on solution with individual approval by TÜV
  • No speed limit
  • Can be adapted to almost all vehicle platforms and applications
  • Activation of steering, accelerator, brake and secondary functions
  • Open and redundant interface (2x CAN, 2x LIN, 2x FlexRay)
  • Basic technology for autonomous driving
Space Drive technology

More than one billion kilometers on the road

Space Drive 2 was originally developed for use in disability mobility. For 20 years, the system has been helping people with physical disabilities to safely become road users. More than 10,000 systems are in use worldwide and a wealth of experience has been gained from the over one billion driven kilometers.

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Andreas Frisch, Schaeffler ByWire Technologie GmbH & Co.KG, Director Sales & Business Development

Andreas Frisch
Director Sales & Business Development

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