Bumps, concrete joints, potholes: These can become a nightmare for those riding in a car. They definitely have an adverse effect on driving comfort. This is where our shock absorbers come into play and in future autonomous cars without drivers, the demands on them will be particularly high. In order to prevent carsick passengers, but also for driving safety reasons, the bodywork must be as insensitive as possible to vibrational inputs. In this scenario, a conventional shock absorber reacts only to the impacts which the road provides to it. However, what would happen if our shock absorbers could do their work in advance? If they could see when a bump in the road is approaching and they can use their shock absorbing force precisely? If they knew how quickly and at what angle a curve would be taken? This is where our colleague Andreas Rohde comes into play. He leads the Innovation and Technology Department at our company, thyssenkrupp Bilstein.
With his team, Rohde is researching, on the one hand, about transferring the shock absorbing effect even more precisely onto the wheels. On the other hand, he wants to filter the great amount of data that a travelling car delivers every second so efficiently that the vehicle control sends the right commands to the shock absorbers at the correct point in time. Our current state of technology is represented by the so-called semi-active shock absorbers. Thanks to highly developed software, they are able to convert in milliseconds the data that the sensors collect from the vehicle. thyssenkrupp Bilstein’s high-end system is called DampTronic sky®.