When Lexus used audio tech to create suspension


The motors even did energy regeneration, whereas a shock absorber would just let energy go to waste, meaning the suspension system’s power use was only a third that of an air-conditioning system.

amar bose

American Amar Bose earned a PhD in electrical engineering from the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1956. He bought a premium stereo to celebrate but was disappointed by its sound quality, so he dived into researching audio science – which resulted in Bose launching his eponymous firm in 1964.

In these early years, he bought a Pontiac and a Citroën because he was interested respectively in their novel air springs and hydropneumatic spheres.

They inspired him to begin calculating the optimum suspension type in 1980, and his conclusion was that no conventional system had the speed, strength or efficiency to provide the contradictory qualities of ride comfort and body control – but an electromagnetic one might.

So a few engineers were tasked with improving linear electromagnetic motors, power amplifiers and control algorithms while correctly expecting a major increase in computing power. And as we have seen, it took a quarter of a century for their suspension to be ready for demonstration.

Bose wanted a luxury car firm to co-develop it. “It’s going to take some courage on [their] part,” he told us in 2004.



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