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New tech promises to eliminate car sickness

A series of sensors will be able to predict the road ahead and adjust suspension and steering settings to maximise in-vehicle co

Car sickness will be a thing of the past if automotive parts maker ZF’s newly developed ride-comfort technology is anything to go by.

Developed for self-driving vehicles and dubbed ‘Flying Carpet 2.0’, the adaptive chassis technology uses an array of sensors and cameras to detect upcoming bumps and bends in the road before adjusting in-vehicle settings.

ZF aims to eliminate body roll and disruptive chassis motions in a bid to maximise occupant comfort, which would allow self-driving vehicle passengers to read a book or work on their laptop without any adverse effects.

At its core is an independent adaptive damping system that can adjust each corner to different driving situations and road surfaces, enabling scenarios where wheels can be lowered and raised to reduce body roll in the bends.

A rear-wheel steering set-up is also used in the ‘Flying Carpet 2.0’ system for better manoeuvrability  in low speeds and to “prevent back end power slides in tight bends”, according to ZF.

A steer-by-wire power steering and an active integrated brake control system also feature in ZF’s concept chassis technology, which are can all be programmed to suit various needs.

“We supply all chassis components from a single source: active damping, front and rear axle steering, and the brakes,” said ZF vice-president of car chassis technology development Dr Christoph Elbers.

“That places us in the unique position of being able to match the control of these components by algorithm in an ideal manner, combining them to form a predictive and responsive system.

“The system integration and smart, connected mechatronic systems make the vehicle fit for the autonomous urban traffic of the future.”

While ‘Flying Carpet 2.0’ has been developed with comfort and autonomous vehicles in mind, ZF also state the system can be tuned for improved dynamics and performance.

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