Schaeffler and KIT research assisted steering systems

A collaborative project between Schaeffler and the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), Germany, is researching new technologies for improving the energy efficiency of assisted steering systems on electric vehicles.

In conventional vehicles, the internal combustion engine not only accelerates the car but also supplies power to on-board assist systems, including the assisted steering system, which reduces the strain on the driver at the wheel. In electric vehicles, this energy comes from the battery, which as a result also reduces the vehicle's travelling range.

Set up in January 2015 and funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to the value of approx. 600,000 euros over 3 years, the focus of the "˜Intelligent Assisted Steering System with Optimum Energy Efficiency for Electric Vehicles (e ²-Lenk)' project is to improve the energy efficiency of steering systems by intelligently controlling the drive torque transmitted to each of the four wheels of the vehicle.

As project managers Dr Marcel Mayer of Schaeffler and Dr Michael Frey of KIT explain: "The new assisted steering system would require fewer system components in an electric vehicle, which would mean savings in terms of weight and energy. This, in turn, would mean that an electric car would be cheaper and have a greater travelling range." Due to the optimised design and weight reduction of the vehicle, savings would also be made in terms of reduced materials and vehicle production costs.

The basic idea of the e ²-Lenk project is simple: the wheels in an electric car would be driven individually by electric motors, unlike a car with an internal combustion engine, where all the wheels are provided with equal force. If the wheels on the left side transmit more drive torque to the road than those on the right side, this will result in acceleration of the vehicle to the right without the need to turn the front wheels or consume additional energy for steering. Tracked vehicles or quadrocopters steer using the same principle.

Schaeffler engineer Mayer, Manager of the Automatic Driving Working Group, which is conducting the research as part of the SHARE (Schaeffler Hub for Automotive Research in E-Mobility) collaborative research project at KIT, says "Steering assistance can be provided while driving by means of an intelligent control system and suitable wheel suspension. Only steering when stationary remains a challenge with conventional designs."

Dr Frey, a researcher at KIT's Institute of Vehicle Systems Technology, explains: "With our approach, the assisted steering system is part of the drive train. Steering the front wheels is carried out without using additional energy. We also want to significantly increase the quality of driving. Customer benefit, comfort, safety and reliability go hand in hand here."

As part of the project, functional demonstrators are being built, with which the concepts can be validated and optimised in tests. It is also planned to implement the system in last year's Formula Student racing car built by the university group KA-RaceIng with the participation of the students.

e ²-Lenk is the first publicly-funded joint project as part of the SHARE collaborative research project at KIT between Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG and KIT. This joint project is being managed at KIT's East Campus in a joint project management office run by SHARE and the Institute of Vehicle Systems Technology (FAST).

Schaeffler and KIT are partners in the Electric Mobility Cluster of Excellence Southwest (ESW), which connects over 80 stakeholders from science and economics in the Karlsruhe region of Mannheim, Stuttgart and Ulm. The cluster strategy of the ESW aims to achieve intensive regional collaboration in the field of electric mobility by means of new approaches and forms of cooperation. As a result, knowledge is developed, consolidated and ultimately advantages are achieved in global competitiveness.

For more information about the collaborative project and Schaeffler's interest in the energy efficiency of assisted steering systems on electric vehicles, please go to

Schaeffler (UK) Ltd

Unit 308, Fort Dunlop
Fort Parkway
B24 9FD

+44 (0)121 313 5830

More news
2 days ago
Individual service for signal integrity
The demands on connection technology performance are constantly increasing. By providing customised support, Phoenix Contact helps customers select connection components to ensure the highest possible signal integrity.
2 days ago
Aveva MES rises in the leader ranks of the latest Gartner report
Aveva’s Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) offering, which is deployed in the UK & Ireland by AVEVA Select partners SolutionsPT, has been recognised as a global leader in industrial software in the latest 2022 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Manufacturing Execution Systems.
3 days ago
Harwin and MSA Components sign German distribution deal
Harwin is bringing greater strength to its German supply chain through a new strategic partnership with MSA Components. The agreement allows MSA to offer all the latest products from Harwin’s extensive portfolio.
3 days ago
Siemens selected by Microsoft for RAMP Programme
Siemens Digital Industries Software has been selected to participate in the Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) Phase II initiative.
3 days ago
Kontron receives VDC Research’s Gold Award for vendor satisfaction
Kontron has been recognised for outstanding customer satisfaction. The company has received the Gold Vendor Satisfaction Award for IoT and Embedded Hardware technology from VDC Research.
3 days ago
Mouser wins Vishay Distributor of the Year Award
Mouser Electronics has received the 2021 High Service Distributor of the Year award from Vishay Intertechnology, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of discrete semiconductors and passive electronic components.
4 days ago
What changes does the new machinery regulation bring?
As the machinery regulation replaces machinery directive 2006/42/EC, Dirk Meyer, specialist engineer solution architect at Eaton, looks at what is changing.
4 days ago
Klüber Lubrication receives Schaeffler Supplier Award 2022
Schaeffler has awarded Klüber Lubrication with the Supplier Award 2022 in the field of quality. The jury emphasised in particular the global supplier's strong commitment to the compliance with quality standards.
4 days ago
Essentra Components cuts energy usage by 15% globally
An innovative energy reduction initiative based on the concept of insulated jackets is helping industrial components manufacturer Essentra Components cut its energy usage when heating machine barrels by 15% and save CO2 emissions in the process.
5 days ago
Fluke addresses requirements to improve operational efficiencies
Rising energy costs and more stringent legislation guiding sustainable practices is spurring companies to re-evaluate processes and seek new tools and technologies to reduce waste and overcome challenges in today’s industrial environments.

Login / Sign up