Power windows were once a tony option on cars; now they’re standard equipment. The same shift may be on the verge of taking place with suspension systems. At the recent Vehicle Dynamics Expo, held in Novi, MI, Wabco introduced a new line of high- and medium-power compressors for electronically controlled air suspension systems, specifically designed for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.
These systems, which originally appeared in BMW’s high-end 7 series cars, adjust constant vehicle ride height, even when the vehicle is fully loaded. This increases vehicle safety and enhances passenger comfort, the company said in a statement. The first generation of these compressors appeared in the rear axle air suspension in the new BMW 7 series. The newly announced compressor series is designed to improve suspension performance, while at the same time making air suspension systems potentially more affordable for end-users. “From 2000 to 2008, the global demand for air suspension systems for passenger cars has nearly tripled and we expect continued growth in this market,” said Daniel Samson, Wabco vice president car systems and products, said in the statement. “In addition, original equipment manufacturers seek to increase fuel efficiency further by introducing the air suspension function, which improves vehicle aerodynamics by appropriately lowering the vehicle body at high speeds.”
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
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