Drive-by-Wire pioneer Arnold NextG collaborates with Helbako on hardware development

Arnold NextG, with its globally unique central control unit NX NextMotion, realizes the basic technology for the safe autonomous driving of the future. The development partner for the complex hardware solutions is the company Helbako.

Drive-by-wire, i.e., steering, accelerating, and braking without a mechanical connection to the road – what is still a vision of the future for many car manufacturers, Arnold NextG has already successfully implemented. The partner for the implementation of the complex hardware is the company Helbako.

The demanding hardware for the multi-redundant central control unit NX NextMotion is developed and manufactured in cooperation with Helbako. One of the future target markets is as special as the application itself: the control unit is at the heart of a system that allows production vehicles to be modified so that even people with severe physical disabilities can safely operate the vehicle again.

In this use case, it is assumed that the driver, whether male or female, has no way to operate the factory-installed accelerator pedal, brake, or steering wheel. The driver must be able to rely 100% on Arnold NextG’s drive-by-wire system solution. This also places enormous demands on the hardware.

Development according to the “ASIL D” requirements of ISO 26262:2018, not just based on the “fail-safe principle,” but with the much stricter “fail-operational” requirement, ensures maximum safety. Four 6-core processors, a fully redundant power supply, redundant inputs and outputs, as well as two redundant BLDC final stages with phase separators back each other up. The digital inputs independently provide all relevant vehicle status information from the CAN bus, and a protected power supply is also provided for external devices.

The hardware is designed for both 12-volt and 24-volt applications. The scalable processor architecture provides sufficient reserves for additional functions and further fields of application, for example, in logistics, commercial vehicles, and agriculture.

Currently, an initial small series of the high-quality control device has been manufactured at Helbako, and the first vehicles have been equipped with the system.

“Looking at hardware development, Helbako is the ideal partner for us because we can produce larger quantities,” emphasizes Kevin Arnold, CEO of Arnold NextG GmbH, highlighting the advantages of the collaboration. “After successfully implementing the first small series, we have already started the next development step, which aims at further industrializing our technology!”

Helbako will present the NX NextMotion system at their booth at the industry meeting “Aachen Colloquium” on October 9-11, 2023.