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Strategic Analysis of Advanced Vehicle Suspension Technologies : OEMs Target Ride and Handling Performance Improvement via Introduction of Advanced Suspension Innovations in Vehicles
Automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are targeting ride and handling performance improvement through the introduction of advanced suspension innovations in vehicles. These innovations are expected to be integrated into the vehicle at an incremental cost. Moreover, such advanced suspension technologies are also expected to result in weight-saving opportunities for OEMs. High performance/luxury vehicles are expected to be the first adopters of such technologies. Vehicle ride height control is one such technology that is expected to target fuel efficiency and handling performance improvement.
By 2022, this is expected to be added into the vehicle architecture. Ease of ingress/egress in high centre of gravity (CoG) vehicles is also expected to be one of the improvement points. Among other technologies being targeted within advanced suspension innovation, magneto rheological (MR) and electro rheological fluid (ERF) under adaptive damping technologies are still considered niche, even for high-performance vehicles.
Electrohydraulic (EH) technology is poised to be the dominant adaptive damping technology and will be offered as a standard feature by 2022. Suspension systems that monitor the road surface ahead, along with active safety and advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), could share digital maps and vehicle environment sensing functions to offer cost-effective solutions by 2022. One other technology, multi-link rear suspension, is currently popular among German luxury OEMs in all their A-E (i.e. small to full size) passenger car segments.
Moreover, almost all mass market OEMs, except Volkswagen (VW), offer this technology across all their full size or E-segment cars. The suppliers of advanced vehicle suspension technology play an important role, as they largely drive innovations adopted by vehicles. By altering vehicle dynamics by proactively using key technologies, mass market as well as luxury OEMs are offering better ride and handling experience, in addition to weight saving and fuel efficiency gains.
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