Steering system allows to drive sideways and turn on the spot

March 29, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Steering system allows to drive sideways and turn on the spot
A steering system developed by vehicle technology manufacturer Schaeffler enables fully automated lateral parking without intermediate stops and maximum manoeuvrability in the tightest of spaces. The system is based on wheel hub drives.

Against the background of increasing electrification and automation of vehicles, Schaeffler, together with project partners, has developed concepts and prototypes for novel steering systems for urban use. After three years, the joint project called OmniSteer is about to be completed successfully.

Omni stands for orthogonal and multidirectional driving maneuvers as well as non-linear steering processes. Behind this lies the following: In combination with the Schaeffler Intelligent Corner Module and innovative wheel suspensions that allow larger steering angles, functionally safe mechatronic longitudinal and lateral guidance systems (distance and lane assistants) have been developed that will enable vehicles to maneuver more maneuverably in the future. 

The drive is based on the electric wheel hub drive E-Wheel Drive. The extremely compact drive opens up completely new areas of application in urban mobility. Parking, for example: The system has a wheel steering angle of plus/minus 90 degrees and individually controllable wheels. This makes it possible to move directly from straight ahead to a lateral parking manoeuvre without stopping. Depending on the situation, it is possible to switch between front wheel, rear wheel and all-wheel steering. Turning on the spot is also possible.

The development project was pushed forward within the last three years at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). A consortium of several participants worked on the project. Besides Schaeffler, these include Paravan GmbH (vehicle conversions for people with disabilities) and Hella Aglaia Mobile Vision GmbH (development of intelligent visual sensor systems) as well as the Research Center for Computer Science (FZI) and the Institute for Vehicle System Technology (FAST) at KIT. The project was funded with €1.9 million by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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