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New Car Can Lean Into Curves, Literally

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the lean-into-it dept.

Transportation 243

cartechboy (2660665) writes "You know how motorcycle riders lean into the corners, sometimes even touching their knee to the ground? Mercedes-Benz has developed new technology that replicates that sensation by leaning the car into bends. It's called Dynamic Curve and it's part of the Active Body control suspension system on the new 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe. In turns, special plunger cylinders raise the suspension struts and lower the opposite side, depending on the direction of the bend. This has the result of tilting the car body slightly towards the inside of the corner, countering centrifugal cornering forces. Mercedes says it's not design for increasing cornering speeds, but increasing pleasure for the driver and passengers."

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243 comments

First (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190881)

Curve

Re:First (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191879)

Mercedes says it's not design for increasing cornering speeds, but increasing pleasure for the driver and passengers.

Personally, for greater pleasure, I would prefer hookers giving blow jobs.

Mainstream hydraulics? (4, Funny)

Nkwe (604125) | about 2 months ago | (#47190889)

As long as internal car data bus allows me to tie the sound system to the suspension system so I can bounce with the music down the road.

Re:Mainstream hydraulics? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191123)

Man caused Global Warming is a "Jew" scam that attempted a run during FDR. "Global warming" was changed to "climate change" when the liars were proven wrong by the RSS satellite that AGW was wasn't happening. It blew the jew scam on the radar. Busted.

Re:Mainstream hydraulics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191901)

Do you get paid for posting this anti-semitic b.s. by Obama and Gore, in an attempt to discredit your opponents?

Re:Mainstream hydraulics? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about 1 month ago | (#47191411)

Don't worry, if you don't figure it out, hackers will.

Gimmick (1)

DogDude (805747) | about 2 months ago | (#47190891)

Suspension on cars do this automatically, already. That's a big part of the reason we have suspensions on cars. I can't imagine there's that much of a benefit to counter the extra weight and complexity of the system.

Re:Gimmick (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190917)

Except the current suspension compresses on the outside of the curve. This system sounds like it compresses on the inside of the curve, redirecting the g-forces into the occupants' buttocks and not the sides.

Re:Gimmick (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190949)

Except sway bars counter that effect by lifting the inside wheel. Stiffer/bigger sway bar, you can get it to do what mercedes is doing with a lot more work. Lets not even get into torsion bar systems.

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190979)

Sway bars have downsides. This system shouldn't have those.

Re:Gimmick (3, Informative)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 1 month ago | (#47191135)

Sway bars have downsides. This system shouldn't have those.

Sway bars are cheap and the bushings are the only thing that can wear out. This system probably isn't cheap and will cost a hell of a lot more than bushings do to fix it.

Re: Gimmick (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | about 1 month ago | (#47191165)

People that drive these cars only keep them a few years, depending on the length of the lease.

Re: Gimmick (2)

0123456 (636235) | about 1 month ago | (#47191417)

People that drive these cars only keep them a few years, depending on the length of the lease.

You do realize the car doesn't just disappear when it's returned at the end of the lease, right?

Re: Gimmick (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 1 month ago | (#47191479)

Its a Mercedes-Benz. After the one-percenter who originally ordered it is done with it, it gets sold to a limo company, who spends the next 5 years driving it into the ground.

It then gets shredded and recycled for the 10 tons of scrap steel that it contains.

Re: Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191667)

Er, maybe in America. In Europe everybody has one - they last forever and aren't too expensive second hand after a few years.

Re:Gimmick (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191029)

A sway bar, no matter how stiff, can only reduce roll, not counteract it completely. What Mercedes is doing goes much further than that: it actually makes the car lean inward, resulting in a more comfortable ride.

Re:Gimmick (1)

Drew M. (5831) | about 2 months ago | (#47190923)

Umm, they are talking about leaning the car inward, not leaning outward. Go take a drive right now and see what happens when you corner due to physics.

Re:Gimmick (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 months ago | (#47191119)

Go take a drive right now and see what happens when you corner due to physics.

It kind of reminded me of my physics class in high school, where I goofed off and got sent to the corner.

Re:Gimmick (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about 2 months ago | (#47190937)

Think. Cars naturally lean THE WRONG WAY on curves. They tilt over toward the outside. This magnifies the centrifugal force you feel by adding a gravity component to it.

We are talking about suspensions that lean THE RIGHT WAY on curves. They tilt toward the inside, like a banking airplane. This reduces the centrifugal force you feel by subtracting a gravity component from it.centrifugal

Re:Gimmick (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190999)

There is no such thing as centrifugal force... when you talk like that you basically show why dumbasses shouldn't be involved in car design.

Re:Gimmick (5, Informative)

stoploss (2842505) | about 2 months ago | (#47191099)

There is no such thing as centrifugal force... when you talk like that you basically show why dumbasses shouldn't be involved in car design.

Stock XKCD counterpoint: Centrifugal Force [xkcd.com]

Re:Gimmick (-1, Offtopic)

v1 (525388) | about 1 month ago | (#47191413)

aww you beat me to it. *pouts*

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191125)

Consider your frame of reference, shit-for-brains. Centrifugal force is correct.

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191407)

In a rotating frame of reference, sure. But the car is not rotating, nor is it fixed to a hub.

Re:Gimmick (4, Insightful)

thrich81 (1357561) | about 1 month ago | (#47191621)

The car going around the curve can be seen to be in a rotating reference frame from the point of view of an observer in the car with the center of rotation at the point inside the curve which the car is maintaining a constant distance from. And the car itself is rotating in inertial space by the fact that the direction it is pointing is changing going through the curve (unless it is understeering very badly).

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191663)

Really? Look for the radius of curvature. As long as you are not going in a straight line, you are rotating.

Re:Gimmick (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 1 month ago | (#47191617)

That would be true if inertia didn't exist. But when you turn the car left, the seat pushes you left, or you'd fall out of the car. The force pushing you left as you corner is centrifugal force. You are revealing your dumbassery and narrow mindedness when you claim obvious things don't exist. I can (and have) proven it existed, in 3rd grade experiments.

Or you can think of it as having centripetal force acting on a body curving, and centrifugal force is acting on bodies *within* the body curving. That force exists, and is real and measurable.

Re:Gimmick (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about 1 month ago | (#47191755)

Briefly, centrifugal force is the equal and opposite force to the centripetal force. Or did you think that was the one force that didn't have an equal and opposite force?

Re:Gimmick (2)

thrich81 (1357561) | about 1 month ago | (#47191605)

Check the direction and magnitude of those force vectors there -- whether the car leans inward of outward in the curve the resultant force vector is the same -- the sum of the gravity and the centrifugal force at (about) right angles to the gravity; the direction of this resultant sum as felt in the car is somewhere between down and toward the outside of the curve. The difference is that if the car is leaning inward then your body is more aligned with the resultant and it feels more comfortable (just as in an aircraft turning in a perfectly coordinated turn). If the car is leaning outward, as all conventional cars do, you feel the resultant as more of a sideways force on your body which is more uncomfortable. In either case the magnitude of the resultant is the same.
And for the other repliers who can't seem to get out of the inertial frame, centrifugal force is a perfectly fine concept in the moving reference frame of the car going around the curve. That's what an accelerometer would feel (measure) in the car -- an (apparent) force pointing outward perpendicular to the curved motion of the car.

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191635)

Re:Gimmick (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191771)

Think. Cars naturally lean THE WRONG WAY on curves. They tilt over toward the outside. This magnifies the centrifugal force you feel by adding a gravity component to it.

We are talking about suspensions that lean THE RIGHT WAY on curves. They tilt toward the inside, like a banking airplane. This reduces the centrifugal force you feel by subtracting a gravity component from it.centrifugal

I worked on the Acela train tilting system 15 years ago. These systems have been used on high speed trains where it's too expensive to rework the tracks. It's mainly for passenger comfort. The challenge is detecting the curve and having all passenger cars react to the curve at the right moment . Maybe today they use GPS with pre-determined mapping. S curves are the worse. Also it needs to be fail safe as to not tilt when in a straight line due to imperfections of the tracks.

Re: Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191861)

I actually was going to mention (but you got there first) that this is precisely how German high speed rail (ICE) works and I am not surprised that acela trains borrowed it.

My understanding was that the swing in the undercarriage reduced the required turn radius at higher speeds thereby increasing the utility of track beds not originally designed for the higher speeds.

Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (4, Interesting)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#47190961)

This adaptive suspension technology can be valuable for addressing poor roadway design, such as opposite-camber banking (yes, such things exist and can be very dangerous in poor weather). One of the most egregious examples of opposite-camber banking occurs in Canada between Vancouver and Burnaby, BC on Boundary Drive on which vehicles travel steeply downhill, typically in rain, and are presented with an opposite-camber dogleg turn about half the way down. So, while everyone is riding their brakes their vehicle suddenly gets crossed up. Since it is noticeably uncomfortable in a low-slung sports car, it is more than an annoyance on buses and in large trucks. Redesigning/repairing those poor roadways can take years, so any step by vehicle makers to have this kind of adaptable suspension is worthwile.

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#47190981)

But note that the suspension makes the occupants more comfortable but does nothing for stability, so the mis-designed roads are still dangerous.

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (1)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 2 months ago | (#47191013)

Greater driver comfort logically means lessened discomfort, therefore less sensation of control loss. Theoretically.

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191075)

And misplaced confidence!

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (5, Insightful)

tulcod (1056476) | about 1 month ago | (#47191147)

Less sensation of control loss is not a good thing. If the road was built badly (ie. opposite banking) then the driver should be aware of that, instead of thinking that he has control while in fact he doesn't.

This technology is a gimmick not unlike the pneumatics famous from the 80s (?) cars.

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (5, Interesting)

Freshly Exhumed (105597) | about 1 month ago | (#47191185)

Just found this academic paper called "Influence of Vehicle Tilting On Its Performance" (PDF, 4 pages) regarding test results from what seems like a forerunner of the Mercedes design:

http://www3.fs.cvut.cz/web/fil... [fs.cvut.cz]

Interesting results.

Re:Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 1 month ago | (#47191351)

Less sensation of control loss is not a good thing. If the road was built badly (ie. opposite banking) then the driver should be aware of that, instead of thinking that he has control while in fact he doesn't.

This.

This is for comfort in passenger cars. In a performance situation, "feeling of control" when it isn't really there creates very serious problems.

Note, however: leaning into a corner in a performance situation actually does serve a purpose. Strong sideways G-forces can interfere with actual control of your vehicle.

Re: Poorly Designed Roadways Addressed By This (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191403)

Indeed, citroen experimented with a similar system back in the late 90's (it didn't reverse the direction of tilt, but instead limited the natural tilt to an absolute maximum) and it did apparently improve handling substantially. Drivers didn't like it, however, because it reduced feedback so they couldn't instinctively feel how the car was responding to the turn.

Re:Gimmick (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#47191023)

The main job of the suspension system to make sure the tires stay in contact with the road. Because of the springs, the system will try to lean in turns. They actively work hard to reduce the amount of lean by using complex linkages, anti-roll bars etc. Looks like Mercedes is trying to allow for some amount of lean in turn by reducing the amount of anti-roll effort. In fact Mercedes is probably trying to reduce the weight and complexity of the suspension system.

Bose, of the high quality speakers fame, did lots of work in suspensions and leans. [bose.com]

Re:Gimmick (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 1 month ago | (#47191211)

Bose, of the high quality marketing and suing detractors fame,

FTFY.

As I understood the summary, they are doing nothing to improve handling, it's merely to "increase the pleasure of the driver and passengers."

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191037)

The centrifugal force causes the car to lean _out of_ bends. You'll notice that when the car you're in takes a curve, you tend to lean that way yourself.

What this system does is ensure the car leans _into_ bends so that your body does not sway as much relative to the car, ensuring a more pleasant trip. Personally, I think this hugely improves the experience, especially if you live in places with a lot of bends.

Re:Gimmick (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 1 month ago | (#47191803)

The centrifugal force causes the car to lean _out of_ bends.

A properly designed car doesn't "lean". Passengers feel the force of acceleration around a turn, this tilts the car so the force is into the seat rather than across the seat.

Re:Gimmick (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 2 months ago | (#47191061)

It's about making people feel better about their car. Who cares about your outdated value-add notions like "efficiency" or "safety"? Pshhh! BTFD.

Re:Gimmick (1)

cavreader (1903280) | about 1 month ago | (#47191175)

People who buy cars in this price range usually place efficiency and safety down the list of the must haves when buying a new ride.

Physics (1)

sjbe (173966) | about 2 months ago | (#47191131)

Suspension on cars do this automatically, already.

No they do not. Traditional suspensions do exactly the opposite of what this system does. Traditional suspensions compress the springs on the outside of the turn rather than the inside. This is why you are pushed into the door instead of into the bottom of your seat.

Re:Physics (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about 1 month ago | (#47191207)

This is why you are pushed into the door instead of into the bottom of your seat.

Depending, of course, on what country you are driving in.

Re:Physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191441)

Right. In the South Hemisphere the coriolis is reversed so you are pushed towards the hood.

Re:Physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191717)

Down under we drive on the left hand side of the road, and go clockwise around roundabouts.

Re:Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191237)

You're not real good at physics, are you?

Re: Gimmick (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191245)

(Slowly shakes head)

Re:Gimmick (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 1 month ago | (#47191581)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sci... [dailymail.co.uk]
http://www.worldcarfans.com/111041532649/audi-a5-that-can-literally-lean-into-corners-video

There are piles of leaning cars. Though, this might be the first one in the market. And I thought the Infinity Q45 with Active Suspension would lean in as well, but only as much as the forces were trying to make it lean out, so that it rode flat.

look up mercedes life jet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190929)

Rather have a LifeJet.

Still not as good as Bose Active suspension (1)

richtopia (924742) | about 2 months ago | (#47190933)

I'm still waiting for this to be mainstream

http://www.bose.com/controller... [bose.com]

Centri fugal force does not exist. (2, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 months ago | (#47190939)

Centrifugal force does not exist. It is a myth. It is a pseudo force. It is conjured up to explain the sensation of being pushed away from the center. Next time you are riding the car in a roller coaster tell yourself, "The centrifugal force is not real. When this car is upside down, there is no force pushing me up and pinning me to the seat. All physicists agree that centrifugal force does not exist" You will find it very reassuring.

Oblig [xkcd.com]

Re:Centri fugal force does not exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47190997)

Wake up!

All forces are imaginary as you are all in a classroom strapped in a chair with a data link connected to your skull.

Reality is just today's lesson. Remember; when you die there will be a test!

Re: Centri fugal force does not exist. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191297)

Then what does a centrifuge do? Does anyone make a centripet?

You're using that wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191367)

That comic proves the opposite point. Its not a myth, its a viewpoint. Fictitious force true, but within the correct frame of reference, it is a real force force. Which is exactly what that comic says.

Please, just stop saying Centrifugal Force is a myth and does not exist. Its a frame of reference measurement and very real to anything inside that frame.

Re:Centri fugal force does not exist. (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 1 month ago | (#47191551)

Actually, the force that is pushing you against the seat is centripetal force, not centrifugal force.

Centripetal force is the force of the chair pushing against you, because it's attached to the center and must travel in a circle (angular acceleration). Centrifugal force is the force that wants to send you and the seat flying off in a straight line (linear momentum). The only real force is the angular one, because there is a motor making the seat spin, everything else is just conservation of momentum.

When there is a force fighting against linear momentum, you get pressure. It's the same thing thing as getting pushed back in your seat in a fast car, except this time it's linear acceleration fighting linear momentum.

Fictitious forces are still very real (4, Informative)

sjbe (173966) | about 1 month ago | (#47191881)

Actually, the force that is pushing you against the seat is centripetal force, not centrifugal force.

Depends on your reference frame [wikipedia.org] .

The only real force is the angular one

Centrifugal force is quite real. So is the Coriolis force and the Euler force . All three occur when the reference frame used to describe the force accelerates relative to another reference frame and in fact you cannot accurately solve many classical mechanics problems without them. For example the surface of the Earth is a rotating reference frame. Don't confuse the meaning of the term "fictitious force" to mean that it doesn't exist. A fictitious force is one that simple doesn't exist in an inertial reference frame. There still are non-inertial reference frames.

Yeah. Right. (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 2 months ago | (#47190943)

It will be used for rider's comfort. Not to take corners faster. I'm amazed they don't pretend it's for safety, like all the other gadgets and improvements that, eventually, led drivers to drive faster and more risky because their gadgets allow even the worst driver to keep his car under control at higher speed.

Which doesn't mean that I think anti-lock or traction control are bad things. Quite the opposite. But someone should tell the idiots that they were NOT meant to be used as a substitute for knowing how to drive, dammit!

Re:Yeah. Right. (1)

sjames (1099) | about 2 months ago | (#47191001)

This latest one might actually be a hazard. ABS and such provide some actual safety for less skillful drivers. This one cause the turn to feel less dangerous but does nothing to keep traction from breaking.

Re:Yeah. Right. (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 1 month ago | (#47191567)

ABS is dangerous to people who learned to drive without it. The normal technique of locking and releasing the brakes by pumping the pedal doesn't work, because the brakes never lock in the first place, so all you end up doing is repeatedly letting go of the brake for no reason.

The only time I have ever slid though a stop sign in the snow was in an ABS vehicle.

This is why they still offer cars with a "no ABS" option

Re:Yeah. Right. (4, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 1 month ago | (#47191727)

ABS generally pumps the brakes at 25hz or higher, about 25 times faster than a human, regardless of how bad ass you THINK you are.

The wheels do, in fact skid a little bit. Wheel skid is how the system knows to pump the brakes. ABS brakes will still live skid marks. The wheels suddenly start having large differences in rotational speeds under heavy breaking and between that and accelerometer data the computer knows you've got one or more tires losing traction.

You didn't slide through an intersection because of ABS, you slide through it because you were going to fast for conditions.

Science ... Using professional race car drivers says you are flat out wrong. You can not brake better and maintain control better than a functional modern ABS system. The fact that you are so arrogant and stupid to think you can is reason enough to revoke your license.

They still offer cars without ABS because it's cheaper, and some people want cheaper

Your an idiot. Stay off the road, please, before you kill someone.

Re:Yeah. Right. (0)

gnupun (752725) | about 1 month ago | (#47191595)

It will be used for rider's comfort. Not to take corners faster.

Many will like the comfort but others will like that they can take corners faster. According to the math in this calculator [gsu.edu] :

* 1/4 mile radius curve, with 7 degree banking results in a max speed of 114 mph

* Same curve with only 1 degree banking results in a max speed of 101 mph.

So, banking does increase max speed in a curve, but Mercedes does not mention that to prevent speeding.

Re:Yeah. Right. (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about 1 month ago | (#47191911)

Tilting the car body is NOT the same thing as banking the roadway.

Old tech (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 2 months ago | (#47190967)

American cars have been leaning over while turning for decades!

Re:Old tech (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 1 month ago | (#47191229)

American SUVs have been leaning over while turning for decades!

FTFY

But it gives the driver the wrong impression (4, Insightful)

mc6809e (214243) | about 2 months ago | (#47190983)

Drivers depend on feedback from the car to help them make necessary adjustments.

If a curve isn't banked enough, the car shouldn't fool the driver into thinking that it is banked enough.

That feeling one gets when the car leans towards the outside of the curve is telling the driver to slow down!

Re:But it gives the driver the wrong impression (2)

PPH (736903) | about 1 month ago | (#47191167)

Drivers don't drive anymore. This sort of vehicle probably also comes equipped with automatic handling control systems.

Re:But it gives the driver the wrong impression (1)

sir-gold (949031) | about 1 month ago | (#47191573)

It's a Mercedes-Benz, they have chauffeur to do the driving for them

Re:But it gives the driver the wrong impression (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about 1 month ago | (#47191307)

Exactly this.
While taking the El Cajon pass on the 15, no one should have any feeling except for how fast they are taking the turn. Providing a false sense of the turn is in no way helpful to anyone.

/rant/ And it is ridiculous to site how motorcycles lean during turns. That is *how* motorcycles turn. Two-wheeled vehicles are completely different than cars. They counter-steer to turn.
To turn left on a motorcycle, you don't "turn" left. You press on the left handle bar (pointing the front wheel to the *right*). That leans the bike to the left, initiating the turn. Pressing more on the left will tighten the turn, pressing the right side of the handle bar will widen the turn and continue to bring the bike upright. //rant/

Re:But it gives the driver the wrong impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191465)

To be precise, you start a turn on a motorcycle (or bicycle) by countersteering (turning the "wrong way"), but once the bike is leaned over, the front wheel does end up turned into the turn to a certain extent - it does not remain turned the "wrong way".

Re: But it gives the driver the wrong impression (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191753)

Yes. This. Even if I were to waste money on a mercedes there is no way I would use this "feature". I hope it can be disabled at the push of a button.

hype (1)

swell (195815) | about 2 months ago | (#47191041)

The car is designed to ride ~5 inches above the road surface. A normal car like this might tilt 2 degrees in a curve, toward the outside of the curve, causing that part of the car to be ~4 inches from the road surface. This Mercedes could conceivably tilt 2 degrees toward the inside of the curve, causing that part of the car to be about 4 inches from the road.

The total difference between the tilt of a normal car and this Mercedes is perhaps 2 inches. Not at all like a motorcycle tilt in the same curve, in fact probably not detectable by the driver except for the cost of the extra complexity.

Re:hype (1)

thestuckmud (955767) | about 1 month ago | (#47191745)

On the contrary, body roll is, in my admittedly subjective experience, quite noticeable. I drive two cars, a typical family car and a sporty two seater. The difference is night and day. One can easily feel the family car "sway" into and out of turns.

Cars can gain traction in turns if body roll results in negative tire camber (especially on the outside wheel). I wonder if Mercedes has engineered a sort of reversed suspension to take advantage of this property. Or is that what they mean when they say the design is "not ... for increasing cornering speeds"?

Same thing (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 2 months ago | (#47191059)

"Mercedes says it's not design for increasing cornering speeds, but increasing pleasure for the driver and passengers."

Of course if it not literally going to make the car faster, but if you reduce the drag on the driver, the end result will be faster turns.

"touching their knee to the ground" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191071)

hope you enjoy being crippled for the rest of your life. I'm guessing the OP's knowledge of motorcycles begins and ends with an arcade game.

Source: I'm in a motorcyle gang and often race (legally and otherwise).

Re:"touching their knee to the ground" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191139)

Source: I'm in a motorcyle gang and often race (legally and otherwise).

But evidently not competitively on a track. The practice is not uncommon.

Re:"touching their knee to the ground" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191241)

Quick, tell Valentino Rossi the news! I'll bet he'll be happy to know that he'll never have to wear knee sliders again.

Re:"touching their knee to the ground" (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 1 month ago | (#47191777)

Knee dragging serves a purpose. What do you "race" legally? Motocross?

Have you *never* leaned so far that you scraped the frame? If not, then you are a bad "racer" and may have ridden a lot, but have never pushed the bike or yourself.

"motorcycle gang", what, you and two of your accountant buddies go ride bikes Wild Hog style once a year?

Nothing new, see Citroen Xantia Activa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47191121)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citro%C3%ABn_Xantia

They did it in 1999 with their typical suspension to eliminate any body roll.
In fact, first they made it lean into the corner, but test showed customers didn't like this behavior.
Still holds the highest speed in the elk/moose test: 85 km/h vs 80 km/h for the second one: Porsche 911!

Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191155)

But i really prefer the sound of screeching tires.

Re:Thanks! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191383)

Go drive around in a parking garage.

Didn't Volvo & Mercedes do this a few years ag (1)

garyebickford (222422) | about 1 month ago | (#47191161)

IIRC Volvo and Mercedes, and maybe some other car makers were working with active suspension systems that had this feature about 10 years ago. But IDK if it ever made it to a production model.

Re:Didn't Volvo & Mercedes do this a few years (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | about 1 month ago | (#47191519)

And I was under impression that toyota's KDSS did this too...

Effect on accident rates? (3, Interesting)

matbury (3458347) | about 1 month ago | (#47191201)

Mmm... lower perception of centripetal force may encourage drivers to go faster into corners. I remember reading comments supposedly from highway safety researchers that insulating drivers from road noise and vibrations, as modern cars do, reduces their perception of speed, thereby increasing the likelihood and severity of road accidents. Let's see what happens to accident rates on corners with cars fitted with this device.

countering centrifugal cornering forces (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191231)

1) There is no such thing as "centrifugal" force

2) The tires are still flat on the ground, so there is no net effect on the cornering capability of the car except by the ever-so-slight lowering of the center of mass, which is probably negligible.

Re:countering centrifugal cornering forces (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191639)

Just because it's a technically a "force" doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Subaru (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191361)

My Subaru Impreza already does this.

Technology Making Drivers Dumber (1)

bswarm (2540294) | about 1 month ago | (#47191381)

Learn how to drive, not how to crash.

US Availability? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191397)

Is this coming to US markets at launch? I know their 4matic AWD system is, which does improve handling – and possibly before other markets.

Bose's leans into a corner... and jump obstacles (5, Interesting)

xeno (2667) | about 1 month ago | (#47191401)

A couple of others have mentioned the ~2007 work that Bose did in active suspension, but nothing really clarifies the idea like pictures or video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSi6J-QK1lw [youtube.com]
Leaning into a curve is one thing, but At 1:40 the car jumps a curb-size obstable. Nice.

I'm not sure it's worth the engineering complexity versus standard sway bars (for a typical diver),
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_liGnV3PTiQ [youtube.com]
but Bose's system (and Mercedes') sure as hell is cool.

And while we're on the topic of making unreasonably large cars more agile than they ought to be, I'm still pretty happy with Volvo's 4C system and oversized sway bars on a 7yo S80 V8 -- switching to "advanced" it behaves like a fat WRX or that pudgy football player you didn't think could move that fast, and in "comfort" mode it hunches down *evenly* about 6-8cm in hard curves... all with just plain old leverage, a few poly bushings, and electromagnets around the ferro-oil filled shocks. Simple is good.

Citroën! (2)

Zwerker (918632) | about 1 month ago | (#47191461)

Bah! THe french beat the Krauts by 20 years. Choeck out the 1994 Citroën Xantia Activa. Here's a video demonstrating the active suspension, plenty more race footage on Youtube http://youtu.be/kQT7IMHvBGo [youtu.be]

sdf (1)

ildon (413912) | about 1 month ago | (#47191533)

posting to undo accidental moderation

Been done before ( like most things automotive) (1)

UrsaMajor987 (3604759) | about 1 month ago | (#47191669)

Actually, you can get the car to roll to the inside of a corner without active suspension. Just design the suspension so the the roll axis is above the center of mass for the car. You can also design the suspension so that the car does not dive down in front on braking or squat on acceleration. This was tried with the Lotus F1 cars in the seventies and abandoned because the drivers disliked it. The diving and squating was providing them with valuable feedback on how much braking/accelerating they were doing. Lotus also had an experimental road car with active suspension that "leaned to the inside" that was never produced. I wonder if the Mercedes active suspension is going to hide from the driver just how fast they are taking the corner.

Citroen Xantia Activa anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 1 month ago | (#47191747)

Active roll control was done in the early 90's by Citroen. Chaec out 'Citroen Xantia Activa'. It had the capability to 'lean inwards' (just a parameter in the software) but they stopped short, just controlling roll and keeping the car level as not to 'alienate' normal drivers.

Definitely something I would want in my car, but for the below average driver the outward lean helps 'feel' where the limits are.

I'm totally for this (1)

TigerPlish (174064) | about 1 month ago | (#47191779)

It is a gimmick, and a welcome one. Makes the car feel like it turns like a plane or bike: by banking. Completely artificial but I'm tellin' ya, if I feel it I'll probably buy it.

I don't like how cars and boats go about bends. I live with it, I choose my cars to make short work of the bends and have fun doing so, but I'd much rather feel a turn like in a plane or bike.

Benz has been toying with this for at least 15 years, Some tv show had it, they also had a benz bike with four wheels which kinda scissored leaning you into the turn. But they also had a small four-wheel car doing it. Both got my attention... but now here's the car for-reals.

Ya, but Mercedes-Benz hasn't thought this through. (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 1 month ago | (#47191887)

"You know how motorcycle riders lean into the corners, sometimes even touching their knee to the ground? Mercedes-Benz has developed new technology that replicates that sensation by leaning the car into bends.

How am I suppose to get my knee on the ground from inside the car? Geesh.

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