The Super-Smooth Bose Suspension Nobody Wanted Has Been Remade, And Carmakers Want It
Two years ago, we reported on an interesting car suspension system, which had been abandoned as too bulky and too expensive to implement for automakers to bite: Project Sound, from Bose (yes, the company that makes high-end car audio systems).
However, now it seems that Project Sound is getting a much-needed break: Bose sold the super-smooth suspension system to an active suspension company called ClearMotion, who has improved on the idea, leading to interest from five major automakers in bringing the technology to actual production vehicles.
Let’s remember, really fast, just what Project Sound was.
Essentially, the suspension system replaced traditional shock absorbers with linear electric motors and road sensors, which would adjust in milliseconds to respond to any road changes. The result was a vehicle that would stay absolutely flat in the corners and smooth as a mountain lake going over bumps, as well as one that could lift a wheel to skip over a pothole and do a little hop over a road obstacle.
Here’s CNet’s video that demonstrates the technology.
Now, here’s ClearMotion’s version, where it swapped out the electric motors with active valve dampers.
While not as driving-with-noclip-on smooth as the Bose version was, the ClearMotion suspension looks pretty great, although details are still pretty sparse—ClearMotion hasn’t said which companies, exactly, were interested in the technology, just that it would be going into a “low-volume” vehicle next year, with more mass-market offerings in 2020.