Nexteer Automotive says it is strengthening its steering system offerings with 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, chief technology officer and chief strategy officer, Nexteer Automotive. “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.”

The new 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 authorises 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, Nexteer points out.

“We at Nexteer understand the enormous benefits that ADAS and automated driving provides to individual mobility and, ultimately, to society,” added Lubischer. “Our systems maximise safety and security of operation by allowing for best functional utilisation of cyber secure technologies.

“We have combined a disruptive engineering culture with our deep expertise and methodical systems engineering approach,” continued Lubischer. “We are rapidly developing products with advanced driver assist and automated driving capabilities, while maintaining our reputation for safety, reliability and efficiency.”

As one of the first and leading electric power steering (EPS) system developers in the industry, Nexteer says it introduced many designs to ensure software and hardware compatibility and integrity within the intended application. Today, the company’s cyber security technologies are built using electrical architecture 4.0 to efficiently and accurately validate true steering commands and support multi-vehicle applications.

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Nexteer says its cyber security technologies are also enablers of its latest automated driving products – Steering on Demand and Quiet Wheel Steering. Both introductions utilise 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 have designed these products and their underlying technologies to seamlessly integrate with our customers’ vehicle systems and provide an extra layer of security,” added Lubischer. “By implementing cyber security and redundant component best practices, we like to say our ‘safety net is always on’.”