Home » Schaeffler Celebrates Sponsorship of Indy Autonomous Challenge
Schaeffler Celebrates Sponsorship of Indy Autonomous Challenge
October 26, 2021
It was an exciting weekend for race fans, as the first ever Indy Autonomous Challenge (IAC) concluded with nine teams competing for $1.5 million in prize money. TUM Autonomous Motorsport, from the Technische Universität München (TUM), bested the competition from 21 universities and nine countries for the top spot. For sponsor Schaeffler, this wraps up a significant year-long commitment to advancing the commercialization of fully autonomous vehicles and deployments of advanced driver-assistance systems.
“This has been a valuable experience and fulfilling collaboration for Schaeffler, the university teams and the future of autonomous driving,” said Noel Marshall, senior account executive at Schaeffler. “Schaeffler believed this could be a dynamic development platform for other high-speed and mainstream applications, and based on this weekend’s performance, we are extremely glad to have been a part of the process as an IAC sponsor.”
Schaeffler provided its Space Drive system – including the necessary hardware, training and support – to all the teams. Over the course of a year, the IAC teams programed their own unique software to a modified Dallara IL-15 racecar with Schaeffler’s Space Drive driving and steering system. Schaeffler’s Space Drive technology includes a three-stage, multi-redundant motor driver and control system that served as the central control unit for converting the digital signals into actual driving commands on the road.
The global auto supplier’s participation in the IAC builds upon its previous motorsport involvement. Schaeffler uses its participation to prove its developments and gain different perspectives and tools for the more rapid development and optimization of its e-mobility and autonomous technologies, such as its Space Drive system.
“Our IAC partnership is an exciting achievement for our Space Drive technology, which has already amassed more than a billion accident-free kilometers,” said Patrick Lindemann, president, transmission systems, e-Mobility and chassis at Schaeffler. “The latest generation of this technology, Space Drive 3, is also ready for small-volume production, which is the next milestone in Schaeffler’s ADAS journey.”
Space Drive Generation 3 is based on the AUTOSAR software standard, meaning it can interface directly with vehicle electronics and onboard communication and network architectures, enabling it to be integrated into existing vehicle assistance systems. With this system, Schaeffler can offer customers a production-ready steer-by-wire system that is highly scalable and extremely flexible.