Automobile suspensions have come a long way from their humble spring and tension beginnings to the common hydraulic systems in place today, but researchers at Eindhoven University think they can do even better: electromagnetic suspension. Building on an idea that's been incubating in the auto tech world for a while now, a team there now has a test car ready to demonstrate the technology, which they claim improves ride quality by 60 percent.
Quantifying ride quality into a percentage seems difficult/nebulous, but the technology does seem to have quite a theoretical edge over even the best active hydraulic suspensions. That's simply because electromagnetic systems can react more quickly to bumps in the road than hydraulic systems can. As sensors and accelerometers placed around the car feed data into an onboard computer, it should be able to make nearly instantaneous adjustments to the ride at all four wheels.
This, according to the Eindhoven team, is the core technological principle that makes its electromagnetic suspension superior to the usual active hydraulic systems. But the benefits don't end there. Each shock absorber unit packs both an electromagnetic actuator and a passive spring, so if the batteries for some reason fail in the electromagnetic system, the suspension still functions as a mechanical system (via the spring) until the car can be serviced.
Moreover the batteries have a peak consumption of 500 watts, the Eindhoven team says, which is roughly a quarter of the power needed to keep active hydraulic systems running. The new system also incorporates tiny generators that turn road vibrations into battery power, helping to keep batteries replenished without tapping the car's main power source.
As for that 60 percent ride improvement number, it was obtained in the lab and we're not exactly sure what 60 percent overall ride improvement feels like. But seeing the benefits on paper definitely makes us feel like an electromagnetic suspension could go a long ways toward smoothing out an otherwise bumpy ride.
Maybe you should also fix the roads and obtain the same results.
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From what i see its the same principals as the regullar hydralic sytem except they added a srping i see nothing speacial and to top that like the person above said its the roads not the cars fix the roads americas f upd roads are whats the problem. and what i dont get is why they keep building new raods and not fixing the roads we already have
That would make too much sense and cost too much up-front money. Far better to pander to the elitists who have enough money to pay for their own, better-than-yours ride.
@TrulyVisionary and anyone else that can read,
It's difficult to take your ideas seriously when you clearly lack command of the written English language. Take the twelve extra seconds it takes to write properly and quit making a fool of yourself.
Your spelling is worse than the roads.
This is not exactly a break through, its been in development for about 20 years and is already a viable technology.
I can't put the direct link in here but a quick Google search for 'Bose Suspension' will get you to the right page.
So how is this new and interesting? My dads cadillac STS 98' is equipped with "Magneride" suspension. Like 1600$ to replace. One of the smoothest rides ive ever been in. And its computerized to give you different stiffness for sport or luxury cruising. Every high end cadillac/corvette since 98 has had the "Magneride" option.
@Confushawn, the Magneride suspension used a magnetically controlled hydraulic fluid that varies fluid density to control the ride. It is not an active system in that it only reacts and can not move on its own.
Ofcourse they develloped this in Holland because of the many traffic braking mesurments there are.
I'd like to see this used to make robots with more fluid motion.
Bose have already develop this for years, just look on youtube for bose suspension
I had this idea once, but much simpler.
Looks like someone beat me to it. Again.
@TrulyVisionary - you need to start seeking that knowledge you keep talking about.
Sounds great to me. I like that they use less energy. Plus the smoother ride is always good. As to the road problem, I don't quite understand what people are complaining about. Yes many roads are not very good and I live in the north where the plows make new potholes every winter. But America has a generally low population density in most areas of the country, therefore we need much more miles of roads per person than many other countries that people made be making comparisons with. It is just too expensive to keep all of the roads perfectly maintained. Or if you want to roads to be kept up better, then push for higher taxes. You want something you have to pay for it. Another thing you can do that may not need an increase in taxes, is to do some research as to what road types will last the longest, and petition to have those types of road put in. A higher initial investment can lead to better quality materials and a better return in the long run. Instead of spending your time complaining about something on a site meant for science, step away from your computer and do something about it. Sorry for my small rant. That is all. :)
Dido, great ideas are often the gift of genius, inventions are the gift for those with the motivation to get to the patent office! I am 25 years old and had a very similar idea when I was just 16. Having no idea, of coarse that many other minds were firing the same electrons. I had just figured, with such a simple concept, "why isn't this already being done". It just seems like such an obvious evolution of current tech.
Just about every good idea I've had in my life seems to eventually be followed by its coming to be. Guess I need to get my ass in gear.
What took so long? I always imagined electro-magnetic suspension and electro-magnetic brakes which would allow pulse-braking 100x more frequently than current anti-lock braking technology.
Electro-suspension combined with road radar which reads the surface ahead could virtually eliminate any bumps in the road. It could extend the tire into the pothole and retract, all the while keeping the car's body from dipping.
Well, you're not the only one with this idea. I had it 15 years ago too. That doesn't mean anything. It takes hard work, proper training/education to implement an invention. 99% of the world uses. Only 1% invents. Be it medicine or technology.
This seems to go along the lines with my thought of using magnets in place of brake pads. If we can introduce electromagnets in place of brake pads, we'd never have to worry about replacing that element of owning a vehicle. Safety first ladies and gentlemen!
What Is Science but A Continual Lesson of The Challenge To Studying The Entire Known Existence of Everything.
I dont look busy because I did it right the first time
Ive seen shocks that to me look just like these I saw them being used on a Baja race truck. The sock had a spring but it also used a metallic fluid that would react very quickly when a magnetic field was applied. Without more info on these I dont know how much alike they are. As for using magnets for brakes to me that is a very wasteful idea with todays technology regenerative brakes are a much better idea in my opinion. Getting some energy back from the car instead of losing it all to heat seems like a better idea. As for the car that has shocks tied into a road monitoring radar if that could be made to work that sounds like a great idea. My question is if these new shocks can react so fast why would the need prior warning. Now if it was a self driving car or partially self driving it could incorporate the tech already being used today to make sure you stay between the lines and that you dont get to close to the car in front of you so that it could examine the road and drive on the smoothest parts. I admit that would be freaky having a car do that by itself but it would help give a smoother ride and I imagine it could help tires last longer by staying out of potholes.
Im a jeep guy, I like the road less traveled. As the more intelligent minds have stated above. "If you want a smooth ride, get a caddie." Personally, I hate the idea of a shock that needs a processor to determine how to react to a surface change (we are talking 6-8" elevation difference, ie: pothole) Scientists can try as they might to elude spilling coffee on their way to work but it is really up to the township maintenance department. If all this is being invested into one tire at a time, why don't we have rubber/composite roads? Who said asphalt and concrete and caliche are the end-all road elements. One small driveway for man, one super highway for mankind...
gm has had a form of it for years on cad's and vettes