Schaeffler buys drive-by-wire technology for autonomous vehicles

BERLIN (Reuters) - German automotive supplier Schaeffler SHA_p.DE is acquiring drive-by-wire technology Space Drive from Paravan GmbH, which it said on Monday would play a key role in self-driving cars.

Space Drive, initially developed by Paravan to help people with physical disabilities, allows for 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 AG.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Jason Neely