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Ford Focus (2018): New damper technology against potholes

Technology against potholes
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D as for the 5-door Ford Focus sedans with multilink The system available on the rear axle converts the information from the suspension, steering and brakes every two milliseconds and adapts the response behavior of the shock absorbers. Just rolling over the front edge of the pothole should be enough to adjust the suspension of the front axle accordingly. The information from the front wheels serves as information for the rear wheels, so that the suspension is “warned” accordingly. Tests on the 1.9 kilometer long jolting and bumpy route on the Lommel Proving Ground in Belgium show that this technology is not wishful thinking, but actually works. Here some of the most famous, worst pothole slopes in the world are realistically reproduced for test purposes.

JLR researches one step further

JLR relies on their MagneRide system.

Jaguar Land Rover is showing its MagneRide system for Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport, a similar technology. At the same time, the British are currently researching a system that recognizes the ground in front of the vehicle and configures the all-wheel drive system to the expected slip. The system can already distinguish between sand, rubble, mud, asphalt, grass and water. It remains to be seen whether this technology can soon also be used for the early detection of potholes.

In the Audi A8 without bumps to the target

At Audi, the adaptive air suspension also ensures a virtually bump-free ride over potholes. The differently designed system is used in different series and is structured as follows: The air springs enclose the shock absorbers in the struts of the front axle, while the two components are arranged separately on the rear axle. In the Audi A8 areIncidentally, air struts are also installed on the rear axle. The central chassis control unit (electronic chassis platform) regulates the dampers individually for each wheel every millisecond - depending on the nature of the road, the driver's style and the mode he sets in the driving dynamics system. Electromagnetic damper valves vary the volume flow of the hydraulic fluid. Depending on the model, the installation position of the compressor and the number of pressure accumulators to be filled differ.

Flying carpet from Lake Constance

The sMotion actuator from ZF is a compact, external electric motor Pump unit with integrated electronics that works as a bidirectional actuator. For the first time, this actuator can actively push the piston rod and thus also each wheel individually and actively both downwards and upwards. In this way, it should be possible to almost completely eliminate disruptive road stimuli.

This is how potholes occur

Through cracked areas in the asphalt, rainwater penetrates under the road surface. If the permafrost is constant, the water freezes to ice and expands on all sides, the road surface arches upwards. If the temperatures rise again, the ice melts and unstable cavities remain. These cavities collapse under the heavy vehicle weight and the damage becomes visible.


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