Technology: Shortcut to Robo-Car: One for all

In real life there are couples that you wouldn't expect at first glance to be compatible.

Technology: Shortcut to Robo-Car: One for all

In real life there are couples that you wouldn't expect at first glance to be compatible. Even in the tough competition in the automotive industry, these connections between two unequal cooperation partners are currently popular. The thick ships from Bavaria. Swabia and Lower Saxony are looking for start-ups and not only get their knowledge on board, but also the flexibility of the young companies. Where processes and concerns rule in the large corporations, the young companies simply implement the idea. This combination of spontaneous technology pioneering spirit and strategy-oriented action does not always go well, as can be seen from VW and Argo AI. What was once celebrated as a wedding in heaven and the "next big thing" ended with the demise of the American start-up

Now Bosch has teamed up with Arnold NextG to get a steer-by-wire system ready for series production by the middle of the decade. “The cooperation with Arnold NextG ideally supports and accelerates our product development. We have the know-how for use in large series and can now carry out tests more quickly on public roads with the additionally installed Arnold NextG technology," says Dr. Stefan Waschul, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Automotive Steering GmbH responsible for the development area, summed up the purpose of the cooperation.

The world's largest supplier needs the technology infusion in order not to lose ground in the fight against ZF and Schaeffler. Both competitors are also working on controlling the car that does not require a steering column, and everyone wants to secure the great sinecure that beckons with such a series-ready system. The only question is why Bosch chose the start-up from the Swabian Alb in order to be one step ahead in this race.

Arnold NextG has the big picture in mind. Because the young company is working on autonomous driving and steer-by-wire is an important step. The NX NextMotion control unit is intended to pave the way for robotic cars. This is a powerful central brain that controls all the functions of autonomous driving. So not just steering, but also accelerating and braking. The NX NextMotion unit replaces many smaller controllers and is also modular in design. This means that every manufacturer who deals with autonomous driving can install their software, saving a few development cycles and hardware. In the future, all functions are to be integrated on one chip (as a SoC solution). Around 140 technicians are working to make this ambitious vision a reality.

When hearing the name Arnold and the fact that the company is based in Pfronstetten-Aichelau, those who know the scene are sure to prick up their ears. After all, Paravan is also based there, a company that specializes in the conversion of cars for the disabled, including steering by joystick, and has entered into a joint venture with Schaeffler, which the large supplier has now taken over. Arnold NextG Managing Director Kevin Arnold insists on the independence of his company. "The NX NextMotion control unit has nothing to do with Space Drive and Paravan," the 23-year-old makes clear. The decisive factor is that the start-up is not only defined by the hardware, but also by software and data. An approach that is apparently so promising that Bosch is relying on it.