Schaeffler acquires 100% stake in Paravan Technology

PARAVAN Space Drive was first developed by Roland-Arnold about 20 years ago as a driving solution for the disabled. Since then, the system has brought new mobility to more than 10,000 people. The Space Drive system is currently the only steer-by-wire system in the world approved for use on public roads.

Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG and Arnold Verwaltungs GmbH have signed a basic agreement whereby Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG will acquire the joint venture Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG (Schaeffler Paravan) from Arnold for the remaining 10 % of shares in Verwaltungs Ltd. Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG currently owns 90 percent of Schaeffler Paravan and will fully own the company after the transaction. The parties agreed not to disclose financial details. According to the agreement, Schaeffler will take over the 70 employees of Schaeffler Paravan and operate the company under its own management. Schaeffler will also continue Schaeffler Paravan’s highly successful relationships with existing customers and partners.

Roland Arnold, currently managing director of Schaeffler Paravan, is stepping down and will be replaced by Clément Feltz, head of Schaeffler’s chassis business unit. Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive Technology at Schaeffler AG: “We would like to thank Roland Arnold for his enormous contribution to the Schaeffler Paravan and the development of the globally unique Space Drive technology.”

Almost 20 years ago, Roland Arnold invented the innovative Space Drive drive-by-wire system as a mobility solution for the disabled. Since then, the system has enabled more than 10,000 people to participate more fully in society due to increased independent mobility. In practice, this means that Schaeffler Palawan’s space drives have traveled more than 1 billion kilometers. Furthermore, Roland Arnold and Schaeffler Paravan have realized various prototypes as well as professional road permit solutions based on the Space Drive technology for all areas of the automotive and goods transport sector. The Space Drive system has also been tested in the extreme conditions of motorsport applications and has successfully driven over 100,000 km.

Matthias Zink said: “Space Drive is currently the only steer-by-wire system approved for use on the road. More importantly, it symbolizes Roland Arnold’s impressive life achievement. Gained from years of perfecting and enhancing Space Drive That expertise and experience will continue to serve us well as we develop a highly integrated steer-by-wire system for series production.”

System development and expansion of Space Drive

Since 2018, the Schaeffler Paravan joint venture has been developing the next generation of innovative steer-by-wire systems. This new system was developed according to automotive industry standards and requirements. It is a multi-redundant system designed for maximum safety and meets the functional safety requirements of ISO 26262. Schaeffler is committed to continuing this pioneering work. The company also intends to complement and combine its mechatronics capabilities gained from developing chassis systems for mass production with the technical knowledge from developing the Space Drive. Schaeffler’s goal is to accelerate the development of innovative, integrated steer-by-wire systems for high-volume vehicle production.

The agreement under which the joint venture was established in 2018 included a clause allowing Schaeffler to acquire full ownership of the company at a later date by acquiring a 10 percent stake in Roland Arnold. The signing of the basic agreement today brings negotiations for the acquisition to a successful conclusion.

Schaeffler’s chassis business will develop into a key integrator of chassis solutions

The acquisition is the next logical step in Schaeffler’s strategy to shape the mobility transformation not only through CO2-efficient drives but increasingly through innovative chassis applications. In recent years, the company has built extensive capabilities to achieve this goal. Schaeffler will continue to develop its chassis business systematically, making it a key center for the integration of chassis systems for vehicle series production and new types of mobility. The development of this highly integrated system will benefit from the acquisition in several ways, including access to the extensive expertise and experience developed by Roland Arnold with the Space Drive system developed as part of his life’s work.

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