Today I received an e-mail newsletter from the Bose Corporation — you know, the people who make really expensive audio components. Turns out they are branching into automotive suspensions.
Here’s an exert from the newsletter and a link to the rest of it:
A History of Research
Bose is best known for creating high-performance audio products, but our research activities go well beyond sound. Our technologies extend from regulating electric power in airplanes to controlling fuel rods inside nuclear reactors to building testing machines for medical devices. And for over two decades, we have been researching a new system for automobile suspensions.
Conventional automobile suspensions have two conflicting goals: passenger comfort and vehicle control. Current suspensions designed with an emphasis on passenger comfort, as in typical luxury sedans, deliver a smooth ride but allow the car to roll and pitch during cornering and braking. Suspensions emphasizing vehicle control, as in sports cars, reduce roll and pitch but sacrifice comfort.
A New Approach
The research program began in 1980 with five years of mathematical analysis to determine the optimum suspension performance, ignoring the limitations of any existing suspension hardware. This analysis indicated that a much higher level of performance could be obtained than that provided by systems using variable dampers and springs or hydraulics. The five-year theoretical study led to electromagnetics as the one approach that could realize the desired suspension characteristics.