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Paravan GmbH

legal form GmbH
founding 1989
Seat Pfronstetten , Germany
management Roland Arnold
Number of employees 156
Branch Vehicle modifications suitable for the disabled
As of December 31, 2018

Power wheelchair from Paravan

The Paravan GmbH is a company based in Baden-Wuerttemberg Pfronstetten - Aichelau that disabled vehicles, digital steering and braking systems and wheelchairs develops and manufactures.


In 1989, the tire service Arnold company was founded by Ronald Arnold as a tire specialist. In 1997 Arnold began to convert vans especially for handicapped people, as they were the easiest to access for wheelchairs. Other vehicles of various brands are also converted and the first Paravan model based on a Chrysler Voyager is created. In 2003 the first generation of Space-Drive came onto the market and in 2005 Paravan GmbH was founded. The name is made up of the terms paraplegic and van . The so-called mobility park is being built in Pfronstetten-Aichelau, a 50,000 square meter company area with development and production halls. In 2008, the company presented the first self-developed electric wheelchair , the PR-50 , which was the first electric wheelchair to receive EU-wide road approval.

In 2011, Adolf Würth GmbH & Co. KG from Künzelsau took over a 25.1% stake in Paravan GmbH. In 2013, the product portfolio was expanded to include the PR Biolution standing and therapy chair, which has biometric joints on the hips and knees. In 2014 the company expands to the USA and establishes a branch in Dayton , Ohio. In 2015 Adolf Würth GmbH takes over further shares in Paravan GmbH and thus has a majority of 51%. In the same year, the company presented the world's first steer-by-wire racing car based on a WTCC (World Touring Championship Car) at the Solitude Revival .

Since 2017 Paravan has been working intensively on the further development of the drive-by-wire system, for example with the Cloui motion board, which can be used in various areas as an electronically controlled vehicle model. This project will be presented at the IAA . In 2018 Roland Arnold bought back all Paravan shares from Würth and founded a joint venture with the Schaeffler Group under the name Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co. KG . The Schaeffler Group holds 90% of the joint project, which aims to further develop the drive-by-wire technology Space Drive and develop new mobility systems. On October 1, the joint venture acquired the Space Drive technology from Paravan GmbH.


Paravan specializes in three product areas: firstly, the company develops and manufactures electric wheelchairs, in addition to which a standing and therapy chair with biometric joints has also been developed. Second, Paravan converts vehicles for customers with disabled access. Thirdly, the company is developing its Space Drive drive-by-wire technology in collaboration with the Schaeffler Group .

Space Drive System

After the first Space Drive generation came onto the market in 2003, the company focused more and more on developing this technology. The redundant driving and steering system makes it possible for wheelchair users, without a steering wheel or pedals, to control a car with just a four-way joystick. Brakes, accelerator, steering and other functions are operated with the drive-by-wire system by microprocess-controlled driving aids. Space Drive is the first system of its kind with TÜV and road approval (according to ECE-R-10, ECE-R-13 and ECE-R-79).

Initially, Arnold's technology was developed with the main aim of enabling wheelchair users to drive. The drive-by-wire system is also relevant for further developments in the field of autonomous driving and new mobility concepts. The Space Drive System from 2003 already used the drive-by-wire technology, the Space-Drive II is also triple redundant . The steer-by-wire function enables a vehicle to be tracked using electronic signals without a steering wheel or steering column, which opens up possible uses in automated industry.


Digital signals such as CAN , FlexRay or LIN , or analog operating elements such as joystick, steering wheel or apps, emit electronic impulses via cables that are processed by processors in milliseconds and passed on to servomotors to control brakes, steering and accelerator. The system is connected redundantly and protected against failures by mutually monitoring components. Every data transfer is monitored and verified by a logic circuit.

Company structure and locations

Paravan GmbH has its headquarters in Pfronstetten-Aichelau , where the administration, its own driving school for the disabled and the mobility center are also located. Paravan runs a sales and competence center in Heidelberg , and the company also runs a driving school there in the active rehabilitation center. In addition, Paravan GmbH has branches in Australia , Belgium , Denmark , France , Great Britain , Ireland , Israel , Italy , Luxembourg , New Zealand , the Netherlands , Norway , Austria , Portugal , Sweden , Switzerland , Spain and the USA .

In 2018 Paravan GmbH and the Schaeffler Group founded the Schaeffler Paravan Technologie GmbH & Co.KG joint venture , in which the Schaeffler Group holds 90%.

Social Commitment

In August 2010, Roland Arnold founded the Roland and Martina Arnold Paravan Foundation together with his wife Martina. This is particularly committed to disabled children whose families do not receive sufficient support from social insurance. In addition, the interests of disabled people are to be represented in public bodies in order to promote inclusion and equality.

Awards (selection)






  • Industry award : Automotive category for Space Drive System
  • German Entrepreneur Award : Social Business category
  • Querdenker Award


  • European Business Award: Ruban d'Honneur
  • European Business Award: National Champion



  • German Service Innovation Award : Innovative Service Category

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Annual financial statements as of December 31, 2018 in the electronic Federal Gazette
  2. a b Holger Schweitzer: Handicapped-accessible vehicle conversions - barrier-free travel ahead, vehicle operation, No. 012, March 22, 2019
  3. a b The emergence of a market leader. In: . Retrieved August 29, 2019 .
  4. Würth takes a stake in Paravan - Retrieved May 20, 2019 .
  5. Paravan slips under the Würth roof. Südwest Presse Online-Dienst GmbH, July 17, 2015, accessed on May 20, 2019 .
  6. Südwest Presse Online-Dienst GmbH: Starting signal for autonomous driving. July 17, 2015, accessed May 20, 2019 .
  7. Paravan: Cloui is a flexible, autonomous electric car - Retrieved May 20, 2019 .
  8. Schaeffler buys steering technology for autonomous vehicles . In: Reuters . August 6, 2018 ( [accessed May 20, 2019]).
  9. Paravan receives innovation award from the German economy - Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  10. Schaeffler Paravan shows "Space Drive" at i-Mobility, Schwäbische Zeitung Riedlingen, April 24, 2019, p. 19
  11. Iris Kreppenhofer: The goal is to drive autonomously on the road, Reutlinger General-Anzeiger, March 8, 2019
  12. World premiere: racing cars with steer-by-wire technology in action. Accessed June 27, 2019 (German).
  13. Steering as if by magic. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  14. ↑ Subsidiaries & partners all over the world - Paravan. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  15. Schaeffler buys drive-by-wire technology for autonomous vehicles . In: Reuters . August 6, 2018 ( [accessed August 29, 2019]).
  16. Paravan GmbH, Schwäbische Zeitung Leutkirch, November 10, 2018, p. 8.
  17. ^ Südwest Presse Online-Dienst GmbH: Donation: Donation handover to the Paravan Foundation. December 13, 2016, accessed May 21, 2019 .
  18. Entrepreneur of the Year 2005: The Finalists. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  19. Rapid structural adaptations: Car retrofitter receives handicraft award for the first time. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  20. Bavarian State Prize 2008 goes to Paravan - Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  21. a b Arnold's sense of autonomy - brand eins online. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  22. economy medal for Roland Arnold and Walter Möck - Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  23. PARAVAN GmbH, Pfronstetten-Aichelau, From “Nobody” to European market leader. Retrieved October 7, 2019 .
  24. INDUSTRIAL PRICE 2012. Accessed on May 21, 2019 .
  25. German entrepreneur award for medium- sized companies. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  26. ^ The European Business Awards. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  27. ^ The European Business Awards. Retrieved May 21, 2019 .
  28. PARAVAN GmbH, Pfronstetten-Aichelau (Baden-Württemberg), convey mobile freedom. Retrieved October 7, 2019 .
  29. ^ Südwest Presse Online-Dienst GmbH: Service Prize: Paravan awarded in Berlin. October 1, 2014, accessed May 21, 2019 .