AUBURN HILLS — Nexteer Automotive, the Chinese-owned power steering systems manufacturer, says it is adding cyber security technologies to protect against malicious intrusions and unverified steering commands.
“As we provide the most secure steering systems for today’s vehicles, we must also prepare for technologies that will be widely available within the next decade,” said Frank Lubischer, senior vice president of global engineering, CTO and chief strategy officer at Nexteer. “As a safety-critical system, the security of our steering technologies is a top priority. While our OEM partners incorporate cyber security at the vehicle level, we are taking safety to the next step by integrating multi-layer cyber security at a system level for maximum protection.”
These cyber security technologies consist of specifically designed hardware modules on the semi-conductor level, as well as a multi-layered cryptographic software structure, that identifies and authorizes information and command flow between the steering system and other in-vehicle or external controllers. As vehicles adopt advanced electronics to enable automated driving, internet connectivity and V2X communication, they become more susceptible to remote hacking.
The company says its cyber security technologies are built using electrical architecture 4.0 to efficiently and accurately validate true steering commands and support multi-vehicle applications.
The company’s cyber security technologies are also enablers of its latest automated driving products – Steering on Demand and Quiet Wheel Steering. Both introductions utilize Nexteer steer-by-wire technology, eliminating the mechanical link between the road wheels and steering wheel.
Steering on Demand enables the transition between driver and automated driving control, while also providing sport, comfort and manual override modes for a custom driving experience. Quiet Wheel Steering eliminates steering wheel rotation when a vehicle completes an automated directional change.
“Nexteer has developed Steering on Demand and Quiet Wheel Steering around a robust steer-by-wire system. We’ve designed these products and their underlying technologies to seamlessly integrate with our customers’ vehicle systems and provide an extra layer of security,” Lubischer said. “By implementing cyber security and redundant component best practices, we like to say our ‘safety net is always on’.”
Auburn Hills-based Nexteer has more than 13,000 employees at 24 manufacturing plants, five regional engineering centers and 11 customer service centers around the world, including a major plant in Saginaw, serving more than 50 customers, including BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, PSA Group, Toyota and VW, as well as automakers in India and China. More at www.nexteer.com.