E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension system by Mercedes Benz
The world's best Luxury automaker recently unveiled, intelligent suspension system. The E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is a modern suspension system that combines air and hydraulic suspension technologies.
Furthermore, currently, this is the only suspension system that can control individual spring and damping forces on each wheel. The suspension also controls suppressing rolling, pitching, and lifting movements.
In addition, E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL also has a road surface scan and curve inclination function that delivers an unbeatable level of comfort. We can definitely say that it is one of the most intelligent suspension systems in the world.
The e-active body control is an ongoing development since 1999. The active body control has a clear focus on improving suspension on the individual wheel. So, it ultimately improves ride comfort and vehicle dynamics. The surface scan introduced in the system in 2013.
Furthermore, the development of E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL is totally inhouse. It requires 48V operating voltage. AIRMATIC air suspension system is the base of this suspension system. Hence, it provides an all-round level of control. It keeps the vehicle level constant, no matter what. So, you can increase or decrease the level of the vehicle. As a result, you can increase the ground clearance.
In addition, the hydro-pneumatics in the system generate dynamic forces that overlay forces generated by air suspension. The E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL actively supports and dampens the vehicle body as and when needed. This support and damping are particularly helpful on uneven roads. During braking and acceleration, the vehicle body maintains its level irrespective of various forces acting on it.
Active suspension and driving modes
Individual wheel activation mode: This mode is very helpful on rough terrain. It allows the driver to select the spring level on each wheel directly from the touch screen. Hence, on off-road, this is a very important functionality especially when your wheel is stuck on the rock and wheel spring is totally compressed.
Rear-end lowering mode is particularly helpful during loading and unloading. When you press the button in the luggage compartment, the vehicle lowers itself at defined height. This adds to convenience while loading and unloading the vehicle. The front axle maintains its height. The system deactivates this feature when you attach a trailer at the back.
In E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL system, the rocking mode is available in the off-road program. In this mode, the vehicle frees itself when it is stuck in the sand. Besides, in this mode, the system automatically raises and lowers the suspension level several times. So, it alternately increases and decreases ground pressure of the tyres, ultimately improving traction. As a result, it frees itself from the sand dune.
In curve driving mode, curve tilting function gets activated. In this mode, the vehicle actively leans into bends by up to 3 degrees in three stages. Just like a motorcycle. Hence, it reduces forces acting on the occupants. So, cornering is much more appealing.
In addition, the system continuously scans the road ahead. It uses the stereo multipurpose camera for the same. So, the suspension responds actively before the bump hits the tyre. It acts according to changing road surfaces. It reduces body movements and adds to occupants comfort.
How does E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL work?
The E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL works by coordinating the air suspension with semi supporting hydro-pneumatics. Here, both of these two technologies play a key role in vehicle body levelling and damping control.
First of all, the air suspension bears all the base load of the entire body of the vehicle. It also gradually regulates the level of the vehicle from the ground while hydro-pneumatics generate dynamic forces that cover air suspension forces. So, it actively keeps on supporting and dampening the vehicle body on the go.
Besides, on each wheel, a damper is installed within the axle. The two working chambers of this damper has a hydraulic pressure reservoir & adjustable damping valve. The damper is connected to an intelligent pump in 48V network by hydraulic lines. In addition, the activation of the pump displaces the hydraulic fluid, creating a difference in pressure within the damper. Thus, it creates active force within the damper.
The e-active body control's central control unit controls the motor on each wheel. At the same time, it also coordinates, actuates the valves and the air spring compressor. The central control unit plays a key role in maintaining the level of the vehicle. So, it controls the entire suspension system and increases the comfort to its max.
Furthermore, Mercedes is getting away from belt-driven pumps. Instead, it uses a 48V electric pump. So, its a sign of the increasing level of electrification in its power train. As a result, the internal combustion engine remains ideal for a longer duration, improving efficiency.
In conclusion, the Mercedes Benz E-ACTIVE BODY CONTROL suspension system adds a new dimension to the occupant's comfort. This innovation also sets new standards in suspension systems.
Image courtesy: Mercedes, Bilstein