Schaeffler steps up involvement in Rear Wheel Steering

September 24, 2020
Schaeffler steps up involvement in Rear Wheel Steering
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Schaeffler is embarking on a development partnership with Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH to expand its intelligent Rear Wheel Steering (iRWS) portfolio.


The aim of the partnership is to grow the market by offering integrated solutions for Rear Wheel Steering systems. Under the partnership, Schaeffler is providing mechatronic iRWS systems and Bosch Automotive Steering is contributing software and electronics in the form of steering control units.

“Combining the strengths of both companies enables us to create integrated systems that deliver superior added value to our customers,” commented Matthias Zink, CEO Automotive OEM at Schaeffler. “Intelligent Rear Wheel Steering technology is a key milestone in Schaeffler’s journey to becoming the technology partner of choice for chassis systems.”

The mechatronic iRWS improves ride comfort and safety and offers several key benefits especially for urban driving. By turning the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels, it reduces the turning radius, significantly increasing manoeuvrability in tight spaces, such as when parking. The rear axle’s assistive steering action also enhances handling, stability and ride comfort and improves vehicle safety.

Schaeffler’s Rear-Wheel Steering system uses lightweight technologies and features a maximum overall weight of just eight kilograms. At the heart of the system is a planetary roller gear that performs a self-locking function, ensuring that the rear wheels do not change direction without steering input from the driver. The planetary screw drive also delivers superior efficiency. The system’s design is also acoustically optimised, making it particularly well suited for use in low-noise electric vehicles.

Bosch’s contribution to the partnership is the steering control unit, an integrated module comprising control electronics, an electric motor and software. It features Bosch security for robust protection against cyber attacks. Functions and updates are supported by over-the-air (OTA) technology.

With decades of experience in software development and steering control, Bosch has already successfully partnered this technology in numerous customer applications. Based on signals from the steering wheel torque sensor, the steering control unit’s integrated electronic controller calculates the optimal steering assist, which is then delivered by the integrated electric motor. In addition to the torque applied to the steering wheel by the driver, the calculation takes into account numerous other vehicle parameters.
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