Nexteer Automotive plans electronic power steering plant in Chennai
Nexteer Automotive is planning to set up a plant in Chennai for manufacturing of electronic power steering which is expected to be functional by 2018 Q3. Nexteer is also expanding its strategic software investment and global software team by announcing intention to open a Software Centre in Bengaluru. The Software Centre 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 Automotive presently has centres Pune and Gurgaon.
Safety critical steering systems
Nexteer’s software plays a safetycritical 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 is 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 said.
“Software also plays a key role in cyber security. We not only design hardware modules on the semi-conductor level for cybersecure steering, we also design software structures with multiple layers that identify and authorize 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 cybersecure 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
Nexteer’s Global Technical Centre in Saginaw, in tandem with regional Technical Centres in Tychy and Suzhou will continue focusing on upstream software development and R&D innovation. The new Software Centre in Bengaluru will focus on downstream software production and validation ensuring quality and compliance with regulations. The company has invested over 2 Million USD for overall activities for the fiscal year 2019. Nexteer is planning to hire around 50 people to start with for India Software Centre and will go up to 100 - 200.
“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,” Geoff Krieger, Executive Director of Electronic Systems and Software, Nexteer Automotive, said.
Nexteer views its software and electronics capabilities among its key differentiators and expects market demand for its software expertise to grow. Consequently, Nexteer is scouting locations in India for its Software Centre and will continue investing in software capabilities over the next several years.