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Space Drive
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Outside normal business hours, you can reach our vehicle telephone service on weekdays from 16:00 - 22:00 and on weekends and public holidays from 08:00 - 22:00 by calling the following number:
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Emergency service
Space Drive in motorsports
From Track to Road
Roland Arnold as a development driver:

Premiere: Mr. Space Drive drives Space Drive at the GTC Race at the Lausitzring

  • Roland Arnold: "Experiencing steer-by-wire technology on the racetrack itself is a logical and important step, enabling us to accompany future development steps even more efficiently."
  • Dialog between development drivers and engineers is extremely important for the future development of Space Drive
  • Big Data as the basis for accelerated development of autonomous driving functions.

Roland Arnold, the developer of Space Drive and CEO of PARAVAN GmbH and Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG, will be sitting in the Space Drive cockpit of his PARAVAN Mercedes-AMG GT3 himself as a development driver from next weekend.

It's not just the first Space Drive race for the black-and-chrome PARAVAN Mercedes-AMG with start number #65, but also for its driver: When Roland Arnold takes to the track for the first time as a Space Drive development driver at the GTC race weekend at the Lausitzring (July 16/17, 2022), he will definitely be accompanied by a fair amount of respect: "At the age of 56, I'm no longer planning to become a racing driver," explains the developer of the only road-legal drive-by-wire system. "But before my first race with Space Drive, I'm naturally a bit nervous. And that's just as well."  Technically, everything is perfectly prepared for this weekend's start: The Space Drive system installed in his PARAVAN Mercedes-AMG with starting number #65, which does not require any mechanical connection at all between the steering unit and the steering gear, is prepared and supported by the team of experienced Space Drive technicians who have been integrating the technology into the vehicles of PARAVAN customers and automotive projects for many years....

You can download the entire text here:

To the press release

"Mr. Space Drive" Roland Arnold is in action for the first time as a Space Drive development driver at the GTC Race at the Lausitzring, Photo: PARAVAN
Roland Arnold's PARAVAN Mercedes-AMG GT3 with start number #65 has been converted into a Space Drive development vehicle in recent weeks, Photo: GTC Race
The Space Drive digital steering and braking system does not require any mechanical connection between the steering unit and the steering gear. Photo: PARAVAN
From Track to Road

Three steer-by-wire cars in the DTM 2021

Space Drive technology anchored in the official DTM regulations and approved by the DMSB.

The ROWE Racing, Mücke Motorsport and ABT Sportsline teams will be relying on the Space Drive steer-by-wire technology from Schaeffler Paravan in the 2021 DTM season. The technology, which has already been used by PARAVAN for a good 20 years to make people with the most severe physical disabilities independently mobile, has been officially approved by the German Motorsport Association DMSB as well as by the DTM regulations. This means that for the first time in the history of Germany's highest touring car class, three vehicles without a mechanical connection between the steering wheel and steering gear are represented in the high-class starting field. Motorsport is both a technology platform and a development laboratory for Schaeffler Paravan. Testing under extreme conditions on various tracks and with different drivers provides important impulses for further system development. You can find more information about Space Drive in racing here:

From Track to Road

Racing project with Janis McDavid

A man without arms and legs fulfils his childhood dream

Our client, brand ambassador and motivator Janis McDavid is working with us on a very special project. The aim is to drive full throttle on a race track in a converted steer-by-wire racing car with joystick steering. Not only does this fulfil Janis' childhood dream, but it also encourages other people with physical disabilities. If a man without arms and legs can drive at top speed on a race track in a racing car and still have full control of the vehicle, then people with other physical disabilities can also take courage to put themselves behind the wheel. On the other hand, the application also demonstrates the robustness and at the same time the performance of the existing steer-by-wire technology, which has been used for years to enable people with severe physical disabilities to drive a car. 

With 200 km/h and joystick steering over the race track

The dream of driving a car has always played a major role in Janis McDavid's life. For him, it means freedom to decide for himself where he wants to go and when. But there is much more behind this freedom: "that I am just as equal on the road as everyone else. My disability doesn't matter, it's a great feeling. A good ten years ago, he was able to make this dream come true with a Mercedes Sprinter that was individually adapted for him, and since then he has been on the road 320,000 kilometres without an accident, using only a 4-way joystick and the Space Drive driving and steering system. "As a child, my dream of driving always had something to do with cool sports cars," he says. And it has now come true. Now Janis McDavid could take a seat in a BMW M3, professionally dressed - as prescribed - in a fireproof racing suit and helmet. He mastered a first test at the Hockenheimring with flying colours. Now he is eagerly awaiting his first race, which had to be postponed to spring due to the corona. Then he will hopefully - before the safety car - be able to drive the formation lap in his BMW in a really big race.

Freedom for me is that I am as equal on the street as everyone else. My disability doesn't matter, it's a great feeling.

Janis McDavid
The test vehicles

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Steer-by-wire Audi R8 LMS GT3 from Space Drive Racing, operated by Phoenix Racing. First DMSB-approved racing car worldwide without mechanical connection between steering unit and steering gear.


Mercedes AMG GT3

Space Drive Racing Mercedes AMG GT3 operated by HWA. Winner of the 2020 GoodYear 60 race with driver Maximilian Götz.


Mercedes-AMG GT3

The steer-by-wire Mercedes-AMG GT3 is piloted by PARAVAN CEO Roland Arnold and part of the GTC Race series.


Porsche 911 GT3R

In cooperation with the racing team KÜS Team 75 of Timo Bernhard the Porsche 911 in the GT3R version will be driven in the GTC Race this season.


McLaren 570S GT4

McLaren 570S GT4 with steer-by-wire steering from Dörr Motorsport racing team. Top placed at the 2020 GT Masters GT4 race at the Hockenheimring.


Porsche Cayman 718 GT4

The Porsche Cayman 718 GT4, equipped with the Space Drive System from Schaeffler Paravan, in action at the 24 hour race on the Nürburgring in cooperation with W&S Motorsport.


Ford Fiesta R5

The modified Ford Fiesta R5, driven by rally legend Armin Schwarz, takes part in the Lausitzrallye.

Our commitment to motor sports

Space Drive put to the test on the race track

Why is our drive-by-wire technology, which we have been using for over 15 years to enable people with physical disabilities to drive, being used on the race track? For the continuous further development of Space Drive it is important to gain experience at the limit. This is why our joint venture Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG has equipped various racing vehicles with the innovative digital drive-by-wire system in order to optimize the system step by step together with experienced racing drivers. It is a challenge to go to the limit with digital steering without a mechanical steering column in a racing car on the track. A challenge that the Schaeffler-Paravan team, including all technicians, engineers and programmers, is taking on in order to establish Space Drive as the technology of the future in the steering sector.

This knowledge and experience gained from racing is in turn incorporated into the evolution and continuous improvement of drive-by-wire technology and therefore benefits our customers. As part of the GTC Race Series and various other races such as the GT Masters or the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring, the modified Schaeffler Paravan cars will compete on the race track to gain new experience for use on the road.

The aim is to test the system in racing operation under extreme conditions in order to determine important parameters for the future development of Space Drive.

Axel Randolph, Head of Racing, Schaeffler Paravan
Advantages for the mobility of the disabled
Clear arguments for development work in motor sports
  • Numerous test kilometers at the limit on the race track for even more safety on the road for our customers with movement restrictions
  • Perform long-term and long-distance testing under extreme conditions
  • Demonstrate technical performance, robustness and full functionality under extreme conditions
  • Test and further development for a perfect steering feel
  • Feedback from experienced test drivers flows directly into the development work and evolution of the system
The test and development drivers in action
  • Born: 13.06.1980 in Stuttgart Bad-Cannstadt
  • Motorsport since 1998: Formula König, Formula Renault, Formula 3, Formula 1 (leading miles at the 2007 Nürburgring GP), DTM with Audi (2008-2010), GT3 with Audi Sport Customer Racing since 2013
  • Successes: Winner 24h Race Nürburgring 2012/2014/2017, winner 24h Race Spa 2014/2017, GT1 World Champion 2012, since 2019 test and development driver for Schaeffler Paravan
  • Download: Autograph card Markus Winkelhock
  • Born: 14.09.1998 in Völklingen
  • Motorsport successes: 
  • 2016: Top10 positions MSA Formula 4
  • 2017: Vice-Championship Lamborghini Super Trofeo Series Asia/ Middle East
  • 2018: Overall winner DMV GTC Class 1 (GT3)
  • 2018: Vice championship Dunlop 60 Class 1 (GT3)
  • 2018: 1st place Porsche Super Sports Cup Red Bull Ring 
  • Since September 2020: Test and development driver of Schaeffler Paravan technology 
Steer-by-Wire race cars in action

DTM 2022

  • April, 29. - 30. – Autódromo do Algarve, Portimao, PT
  • May, 20. - 23. – Lausitzring, Lausitz, DE
  • June, 17. - 19. – Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, IT
  • July, 01. - 03. – Norisring, Nürnberg DE
  • August, 26. - 28. – Nürburgring, Nürburg, DE
  • September, 09. - 11. – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa-Francorchamps, BE
  • September, 23. - 25. – Red Bull Ring, Spielberg, AT
  • October, 07. - 09. – Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, DE

GTC Race 2022

  • April, 08. - 10. – Motorsport Arena Oschersleben, Oschersleben, DE
  • July, 15. - 17. – Lausitzring, Lausitz, DE
  • July, 29. - 31. – Nürburgring, Nürburg, DE
  • August, 26. - 28. – TT Circuit Assen, Assen, NL
  • September, 09. - 11. – Hockenheimring, Hockenheim, DE

German Rallye Championship 2022

  • August, 19. - 20. – St. Wendel
  • October, 14. – 15. – 3 Städte, DE, AT, TSCH


Photo: 2020 Gruppe C
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