Personal transportation for individuals with physical disabilities has become mainstream, and the demand for robust, feature-enabled technology that provides access to these vehicles continues to grow. Since 2007, FEV North America, Inc., has been working with the global leader in wheelchair-accessible vehicles, BraunAbility, to develop such solutions. FEV developed and provides the wheelchair ramp gateway module used in BraunAbility-converted FCA vans, and today announced that it has achieved a milestone of supplying 25,000 modules.
“We promise our customers world-class quality and reliability when they purchase our products,” says Jim Probst, director of Product Portfolio Management at BraunAbility, the global leader of wheelchair accessible vehicles. “The FEV components we incorporate in our vehicles allow us to keep that promise. FEV has proven to be an exceptional partner focused on quality and customer service.”
Stephan Tarnutzer, FEV’s North American vice president of Electronics, commented that “At FEV, we place a very heavy emphasis on ensuring customer satisfaction in every project we conduct. In the case of this project for BraunAbility, that meant delivery of robust, high-quality, wheel chair ramp gateway modules that met their production schedule. We are proud to have been part of this amazing success story.”
Known more for its engineering services capabilities in powertrain and vehicle systems engineering, FEV highlighted its electronics prowess in this project and also coordinated the production of the gateway module, which interfaces with the BraunAbility Wheelchair Ramp Control Module. Subjected to frequent use under a variety of conditions, vehicle owners rely on the performance of the wheelchair ramp on a daily basis. The ramp’s components, therefore, must also be designed to withstand the rigors of use. To date, there have been no reported failures after vehicle installation.
FEV was responsible for both software and mechanical design and development, as well as electrical design and development, including EMC and environmental testing. The gateway interfaces with the Ramp Control Module and FCA’s minivan communication bus. FEV also oversaw and managed suppliers and the contract manufacturer to fulfill the program.
BraunAbility is the world’s leading manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts for both personal use and commercial applications. Founded nearly 50 years ago by Ralph Braun, the company was built on the age-old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Ralph Braun was a young man who used a wheelchair and had no reliable transportation to and from his place of work. He built his first wheelchair accessible vehicle in 1972, and since then, BraunAbility has grown into the most well-known and trusted brand in the mobility industry, bringing independence to tens of thousands of individuals around the world.
About FEV Group
The FEV Group is an internationally recognized powertrain and vehicle engineering company that supports the global transportation industry. FEV offers a complete range of engineering services, providing support across the globe to customers in the design, analysis, prototyping, powertrain and transmission development, as well as vehicle integration, calibration and homologation for advanced internal combustion gasoline-, diesel-, and alternative-fueled powertrains. FEV also designs, develops and prototypes advanced vehicle / powertrain electronic control systems and hybrid-electric engine concepts that address future emission and fuel economy standards. The company has expanded its engineering capabilities to include full vehicle systems and now offers broad expertise in electronics, telematics and infotainment system engineering. The FEV Testing Solutions division is a global supplier of advanced test cell, instrumentation and test equipment. The FEV Group employs a staff of over 4,000 highly skilled specialists at advanced technical centers on three continents. FEV North America, Inc. employs over 450 personnel in its North American Technical Center in Auburn Hills, MI. For more information, visit www.fev.com