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Smart Suspension

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  • Smart Suspension

    Hello again everyone. So I had an idea while driving home tonight, I'm not sure if there are any commercial companies that are doing this, or if its even possible, but it seems like it could be a huge step for drivers.

    I know that Lexus makes cars which sense on-coming obstacles and loossen the steering to make turning and avoiding the object easier. Working on the same idea, why couldn't it be done with suspension? A sensor on the front of the car would sens pot holes/ imperfections in the road ahead, and adjust the suspension of the car accordingly. It may not be a big problem other places, but in PA the roads are TERRIBLE!

    I have little ideas on exactly how such a device would work (or any understanding of a car's suspension for that matter) but would love to hear thoughts/ideas about the topic.

    For me a smoother drive would be a HUGE plus

    Thanks for viewing!
    My Work Log

  • #2
    How i'd do it.

    1) Use a 2x laser measures mounted near the front of the vehicle in line with the tyres
    2) Have a processing unit (carpc) analyse the measurements to determine road types (gravel, tarmac, concrete etc) and hazards (pot-holes, judder bars, curbs).
    3) Processor then sends commands to medium torque, high speed electric motors on each shock (coil over suspension) that adjusts spring/shock tension and/or height. Actually compressor adjustably hydraulics might be better.

    Your biggest issue is getting everything to work fast enough.

    Angle laser to read 5 meters in front of the car + 0.5m from tyre to front of car gives you a 5.5 meter warning distance.

    Say you;re travelling at 100km/hour = 100000m/hour = 1667m/m = 28m/s

    5.5m/28m = 0.1964 seconds warning time.

    Having the processing done in that time shouldn't be an issue, however sending the command to the suspension motors, and having them complete their task in less than 0.2 seconds is a big ask.

    PS my maths may be completely off.

    PPS A secondary issue to be very aware off is how this change will be felt by the driver. It has to be subtle enough not to alarm them, yet effective enough to make it worth while.


    • #3
      Wikipedia is a great starting point and has some info on active suspension.

      Semi-active suspensions include devices such as air springs and switchable shock absorbers, various self-levelling solutions, as well as systems like Hydropneumatic, Hydrolastic, and Hydragas suspensions. Delphi currently sells shock absorbers filled with a magneto-rheological fluid, whose viscosity can be changed electromagnetically, thereby giving variable control without switching valves, which is faster and thus more effective.

      For example, a hydropneumatic CitroŽn will "know" how far off the ground the car is supposed to be and constantly reset to achieve that level, regardless of load. It will not instantly compensate for body roll due to cornering however. CitroŽn's system adds about 1% to the cost of the car versus passive steel springs.

      Fully active suspensions use electronic monitoring of vehicle conditions, coupled with the means to impact vehicle suspension and behavior in real time to directly control the motion of the car. Lotus Cars developed several prototypes, and introduced them to F1, where they have been fairly effective, but have now been banned. Nissan introduced a low bandwidth active suspension in circa 1990 as an option that added an extra 20% to the price of luxury models. CitroŽn has also developed several active suspension models (see hydractive). A recently publicised fully active system from Bose Corporation uses linear electric motors, ie solenoids, in place of hydraulic or pneumatic actuators that have generally been used up until recently. The most advanced suspension system is Active Body Control, introduced in 1999 on the top-of-the-line Mercedes-Benz CL-Class.

      With the help of control system, various semi-active/active suspensions could realize an improved design compromise among different vibrations modes of the vehicle, namely bounce, roll, pitch and warp modes. However, the applications of these advanced suspensions are constrained by the cost, packaging, weight, reliability, and/or the other challenges.


      • #4
        1991 Toyota Soarer had a fully active hydraulic suspension system on the 1991 UZZ32 model
        The UZZ32 model was the top of the line 30 series featuring four wheel steering and a complex hydraulic computer- controlled active suspension system. This did away with conventional springs and anti-roll (stabiliser) bars in favour of hydraulic struts controlled by sensors that detected cornering, acceleration and braking forces. The system worked well and gave an unusually controlled yet smooth ride with no body roll, but the weight penalty of the system affected straight-line performance somewhat, and the car was costly to produce. As a result, only 873 UZZ32's were made and are now collectors items in the UK and Australia. To put the rarity in perspective, some later model and very low milage examples of the UZZ32 can be seen for sale between $20,000-$35,000+ AUD where as the majorty of the other soarers (Non active V8, I6 and TT models) can be had for $5,000-$15,000.


        • #5
          This may help if you see it in action

          as this is crazy engineering from an unlikely source


          • #6
            Looks like it was mentioned in a post above, but GMs magnaride suspension essentially does what you are talking about, sensing road conditions and adjusting the stiffness of the suspension. It's only available on corvettes, a couple of caddies, and the buick lucerne.


            • #7
              scurr that is most possibly the greatest thing I have ever seen!

              WHERE CAN I GET THAT?!
              My Work Log


              • #8
                And here's a video showing you the difference it makes to cornering



                • #9
                  Originally posted by scurr View Post
                  as this is crazy engineering from an unlikely source
                  O_O... did that car just jump? DAYUM!!!

                  Granted, it's not a black talking trans-am... but *jawdrop*