Nexteer Automotive, the global steering and driveline business major, is expanding its strategic software investment and global software team and has announced plans to open a software centre in India.
The new facility will be the latest addition to the company’s global software team that operates under one digital roof with locations in Saginaw, US; Tychy, Poland; and Suzhou, China.
Nexteer’s Global Technical Center in Saginaw – in tandem with regional Technical Centers in Tychy and Suzhou – will continue focusing on upstream software development and R&D innovation. Meanwhile, the new Software Center in India will focus on downstream software production and validation ensuring quality and compliance with regulations.
“Nexteer’s software business model and our enhanced global team structure is based on delivering innovative software solutions with speed, flexibility and seamless vehicle integration for our global automotive OEM customers. The role of software in vehicles – and especially in safety-critical steering – is evolving quickly. Consequently, automotive OEMs’ need for Nexteer’s smart software solutions to their complex challenges has grown exponentially,” said Geoff Krieger, executive director of Electronic Systems and Software, Nexteer Automotive.
Scouting for a location in India
Nexteer, which views its software and electronics capabilities among its key differentiators and expects market demand for its software expertise to grow, is scouting locations in India for its Software Center and will continue investing in software capabilities over the next several years.
Nexteer’s software plays a safety-critical role – including cyber security – in its products such as Steer-by-Wire (SbW) and Electric Power Steering Systems (EPS) that are key gateway technologies for advanced safety functions and automated driving.
“It’s all about safety and performance. As vehicle technology evolves to include varying levels of advanced safety features and increasing levels of autonomous driving, our steering software ensures the safety net is ‘always on’ in our Steer-by-Wire and Advanced Electric Power Steering Systems. In addition to our hardware redundancies, our software is built for simultaneous, multi-path processing to strengthen this safety net,” said Krieger.
“Software also plays a key role in cyber security. We not only design hardware modules on the semi-conductor level for cyber-secure steering, we also design software structures with multiple layers that identify and authorise information and command flow between the steering system and other controllers. As vehicles adopt more advanced electronics to enable automated driving, internet connectivity and V2X communication, Nexteer’s cyber-secure steering technologies become even more critical.”
As Nexteer continues adding functionality and advanced safety features to its steering systems – the number of lines of code required is astounding: 14.3 million lines of code required in Nexteer’s SbW; and 4.3 million lines of code required in Nexteer’s EPS – compared to 400,000 lines of code required in the first space shuttle.
Nexteer Automotive makes and supplies electric and hydraulic power steering systems, steering columns and driveline systems, as well as advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving technologies for original equipment manufacturers. The company’s global workforce of over 13,500 serves more than 50 customers in every major region of the world. The company has 24 manufacturing plants, three technical centers and 14 customer service centers strategically located in North and South America, Europe and Asia. Nexteer Automotive’s customers include BMW, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, GM, PSA Group, Toyota and Volkswagen, as well as automakers in India and China.