Every automotive suspension has two goals: passenger comfort and vehicle control. Comfort is provided by isolating the vehicle’s passengers from road disturbances like bumps or potholes. Control is achieved by keeping the car body from rolling and pitching excessively, and maintaining good contact between the tire and the road.
Unfortunately, these goals are in conflict.
In 1980, Bose founder and CEO Dr. Amar Bose conducted a mathematical study to determine the optimum possible performance of an automotive suspension, ignoring the limitations of any existing suspension hardware. The result of this 5-year study indicated that is was possible to achieve performance that was a large step above anything available. After evaluating conventional and variable spring/damper systems as well as hydraulic approaches, it was determined that none had the combination of speed, strength, and efficiency that is necessary to provide the desired results. The study led to electromagnetics as the one approach that could realize the desired suspension characteristics.
The Bose suspension required significant advancements in four key disciplines: linear electromagnetic motors, power amplifiers, control algorithms, and computation speed. Bose took on the challenge of the first three disciplines and bet on developments that industry would make on the fourth item.
Prototypes of the Bose suspension have been installed in standard production vehicles. These research vehicles have been tested on a wide variety of roads, on tracks, and on durability courses.