In the next DTM season, Schaeffler's Space Drive technology will be installed in the racing cars of Audi (an R8 LMS GT3), Mercedes AMG and BMW (an M6 GT3). The system transmits the steering commands purely digitally via a cable to a control unit, which then actuates the corresponding actuators. In return, the mechanical steering column can be omitted.
The Space Drive system was originally developed by Schaeffler for autonomous driving and has already been intensively tested. "Space Drive is a highly tested key technology for autonomous driving with more than one billion kilometres driven on public roads," says Matthias Zink, Member of the Schaeffler Executive Board for Automotive Technologies. Because of the extreme demands placed on the technology, the company considers the use in car races to be an ideal test field for testing the maturity of the system for large-scale production.
Maturity for series production is also Schaeffler's stated goal; the company expects that by 2035 about 30% of all newly produced passenger cars and light commercial vehicles worldwide will be at least partially automated, while half of these will offer the possibility of highly automated driving.
DTM is a racing series for competition vehicles derived from a production vehicle. It has been held since the year 2000.