A few years ago, the boffins at Bose were working away on a new, state-of-the-art electromagnetic suspension system that could have changed the motoring world forever.
What made the Bose system so special, as you’ll see by watching the pair of Lexus LS sedans in the demonstration video below, was that it virtually eliminated any body roll the car might have had through the turns, and completely smoothed out the bumps in the road. Put simply, the car would stay flat no matter how you drove it. As a party trick, it could even sense severe bumps in the road ahead, such as a gutter-height obstacle used in the video, and jump over them completely.
Sadly, it never saw the light of day – for three main reasons. Firstly, the system was expensive to manufacture. Secondly, it required a lot of electricity to operate and put a huge strain on the engine’s alternator – with something like a 10% reduction in fuel economy. Finally, as you might have already guessed, it was heavy. These three factors meant that unfortunately the project was shelved.
But curiously enough, it did live on in the form of a suspended driver’s seat for heavy-duty, long-haul trucks – called the ‘Bose Ride System’. It’s said to significantly reduce fatigue and back pain while encouraging driver alertness and wellness – which is all well and fine, but a far cry from what the suspension system could have meant for the automotive industry.