Space Drive technology for greater mobility

Our digital-electronic driving and steering system, Space Drive, is unrivalled worldwide – the software and hardware were all developed in Southern Germany, the system is triple redundant and meets the highest safety standards. Thanks to Space Drive, even people with low residual strength, spinal cord injury, minimum movement capabilities, severe disability or multiple physical impairments can finally drive a vehicle again.

Drive-by-wire means that microprocessor-controlled driving aids send signals in milliseconds to servo motors for the brakes and steering. Another revolutionary aspect of the system is that it is adapted to suit our customers with a disability exactly. With the touch system and voice control system, PARAVAN offers efficient and user-friendly options for controlling up to 100 secondary vehicle functions such as the indicators, cassette lift and windscreen wipers. A specially developed app means that important functions such as opening the door or operating the lift can be controlled from outside the vehicle using a smartphone or tablet – so this is a single system for all the secondary functions that is simple to handle for people with a physical disability. 

Steer-by-wire with joystick
PARAVAN technology fur future mobility
PARAVAN innovative technology
Future mobility with PARAVAN

The origins of PARAVAN´s assistive technology

Space Drive is an electronic driving and steering system or drive-by-wire system that has been on the market for 18 years. The foundation for this development was laid by PARAVAN GmbH with founder and CEO Roland Arnold, who developed the assistive technology - originally for individual vehicle adaptation in the field of mobility for people with a disability. After a key experience at the end of the 1990s, when Roland Arnold helped a wheelchair user into the car in pouring rain on a highway parking lot, he developed a barrier-free access for wheelchair users into the car. That was the birth of PARAVAN GmbH. This allowed people with physical handicaps to sit behind the steering wheel or on the passenger side without having to be transported like "luggage" in the back of the car. People with handicaps drive a power wheelchair with a joystick, so surely you must be able to drive a car in this way. Driven by this idea, Roland Arnold developed Space Drive 1 and received road approval for this system in 2005.

Space Drive has a road approval according to ECE-R13 (brake) and ECE-R79 (steering). The system has now been in use for almost 20 years, with over 9,000 systems installed and over one billion kilometers driven on public roads. The special feature: in the field of mobility for the disabled, redundancy or fail-safety - fail operational - is the most important development objective. In this area, the fallback level has always been the system and not the human, because in an emergency, the handicapped driver cannot intervene.

In 2013, Space Drive 2 was launched on the market, in accordance with the then current automotive standard. Even then, the CPU was triple redundant - fail operational - and complied with the current ISO 26262 ASIL D standard. Driving and steering systems approved according to this standard can be used in the field of autonomous driving in Level 4 and 5. Today, Space Drive represents a key technology for autonomous driving. There is no need for a mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear; the signals are passed on by a cable. 


PARAVAN founder Roland Arnold
Roland Arnold founder and CEO of PARAVAN