BERLIN -- Schaeffler will acquire drive-by-wire technology Space Drive from Paravan, which the German supplier said would play a key role in future self-driving cars.
Space Drive was developed by German company Paravan to help people with physical disabilities. It allows vehicles to be steered and stopped by purely electronic means, eliminating the need for a steering wheel or steering column.
"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," Schaeffler said in a statement.
As part of the transaction, Schaeffler and Paravan are creating a joint venture that will be 90 percent owned by Schaeffler Technologies.
Schaeffler will contribute its Mover technology to the joint venture. Schaeffler unveiled the Mover concept at its annual meeting in April. The self-driving electric Mover chassis can be combined with various body versions for different urban mobility and transport applications.
Schaeffler ranks No. 22 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $10.79 billion in 2017.