Steer-by-Wire enters series production, Hella supplies sensors

Steer-by-Wire enters series production, Hella supplies sensors

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

The complete digitalization of steering systems has been under discussion for many years, and now steer-by-wire is entering series production. The supplier Hella is reporting several orders from the automotive industry in this regard.

The orders relate to the steering sensor developed by Hella, which detects the torque and angle of rotation of the steering wheel and transmits the signals to the steering control unit. These steering sensors are considered to be an essential key technology for the industrialization of steer-by-wire systems.

In steer-by-wire systems, steering commands are transmitted purely electrically and without the aid of mechanical or hydraulic connections between the steering wheel and the front axle. In such a steering system, the steering sensors record the torque and angle of the steering wheel with high precision and reliability and transmit these as an electrical signal. As this eliminates the need for various previously required hardware components, such as the steering rack, the steering setting can be adapted to the specific situation or customer. On the other hand, the drive-by-wire principle also opens up new design possibilities for vehicle developers. Flexible design concepts for the engine and vehicle interior can be realized, enabling new cockpit designs, cost advantages through modularization and variant reduction, and increased crash safety.

The orders come from “various well-known customers,” Hella announced. As usual, the names of these vehicle manufacturers were not disclosed. Production is scheduled to start in 2025. The devices will be manufactured at Hella’s electronics plants in Recklinghausen, Germany, and Xiamen, China – a reference to the vehicle OEMs’ origins.

Hella has been active in the steering sensor market since 2007 and claims a strong market position in this technology segment. The development focus of the fifth product generation, with which steer-by-wire functionalities are now being implemented for the first time, is in particular the redundant and at the same time cost-efficient architecture of the sensor, in order to meet the highest safety requirements. The company’s proprietary CIPOS sensor technology is used in the steering sensors. Since the market launch of this high-precision, wear-free sensor concept in 1999, the company has already manufactured around 1 billion different position sensors with CIPOS technology.

Hella has been taken over by French automotive supplier Faurecia in 2022; since then, the company operates as part of the Forvia Group, the world’s seventh-largest automotive supplier.

Related articles:

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Hella brings brake-by-wire pedal into large-scale production

Steering control ECU is fail operational for automated driving

Schaeffler establishes steer-by-wire in DTM racing series

Faurecia, Hella merger to form seventh-largest automotive supplier

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