Apple granted U.S. patent for an ‘Apple Car’ suspension system

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted Apple a patent (number 11,046,143) for a “fully-actuated suspension system.”

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Dennis Sellers for Apple World Today:

Here’s the summary of the newly granted patent: Some embodiments provide a fully-actuated suspension system which can provide adjustable displacement of a sprung mass from a neutral suspension position over an unsprung mass. The system includes a variable pressure air spring which can adjust the neutral suspension position and execute low-frequency displacements and a hydraulically-driven piston which can execute high-frequency displacements. The system can communicate information to a driver, via haptic feedback provided via actuator displacements, which can augment the driver’s situational awareness.

The system can provide augmented vehicle braking via displacing the unsprung mass of the vehicle towards the surface upon which the vehicle rests to increase the normal force and contact area of the unsprung mass on the surface, unload torsion of the wheel induced by applied braking pressure to the wheel, etc. The system can compensate for vehicle oscillations at frequencies below the primary ride frequency, thereby mitigating the risk of occupant motion sickness.

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6 Comments

  1. While I don’t know enough about cars and suspension systems, if Apple is going about re-thinking and re-inventing everything about automobiles, this is getting quite exciting indeed! It’s one thing to make the aesthetics and the user experience better, it’s another to be engineering a whole new vehicle!

    1. Despite the market-age of the automobile, it is surprising how little radical innovation there has been with certain systems. For instance: wiper blades. They still involve a metal arm dragging a piece of silicone/rubber across the glass. Essentially unchanged from a design you’d see in the 1920’s. It is exciting seeing one of the most innovative companies in the world flexing their research and design muscles on improving the car.

  2. When you remove the combustion engine out of the vehicle, pretty much everything else comes down to a few components such as braking and suspension. The power mechanism and creature comforts is basically wiring. The brains is well, the OS.

    1. Sounds like a Combination of Citroen’s with the Austin Morris system used on the original Mini/Metro and I believe even the Challenger 2 tank as invented by Issigonis ie in Apples case air and hydraulic combined. Add the high end electronics/AI that only a computer company can truly provide and these great systems can now become the norm eventually I suspect. Citroen’s was always very floaty and sick making while the Minis was always about trying to decrease reaction time in the system sufficiently to give a more comfortable ride though it’s Monti Carlo successes proved its Go Kart like stability and cornering. Interestingly both companies pretty much have given up on their systems years ago due to cost and complexity and the problems of truly perfecting it while spring suspension improved immeasurably over that time. Looks like with electric cars and computerisation variations of the system will likely return to mainstream. Wonder who has the Intellectual property rights to the Issigonis system these days could be one of many entities I guess. Im not sure indeed that he didn’t offer an air/hydraulic variation of the system to BMW when they were in control of the company but they didn’t want to know.

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