Bose suspends belief
BOSE technology is usually found in high-end sound systems, not underneath truck drivers. That is changing with the rollout of a new Bose truck seat in the US.
It sounds unlikely, but the Bose Corporation, which has become famous for generating sounds, has now turned its attention to suspension.
Back in 2004, the company presented the concept of a new form of car suspension that does away with traditional struts and shock absorbers, replacing them with an active system using four powerful electric motors to isolate the vehicle from road conditions.
Bose insists that the project, which it has been working on for some time, will make it into production but for now is on the backburner.
In the meantime, Bose has used similar technology to develop a new suspension seat for heavy-duty trucks.
Called the Bose Ride System, it was released early this year as an aftermarket product.
It certainly isn’t cheap with a sticker price of about $6000.
Even so, those who have tested the seat on a demonstration rig that Bose set up to show the difference between it and conventional seats say it does a remarkable job of ironing out bumps and vibrations.
The seat uses an air spring to maintain a standard ride height, but it is the seat’s complex electrical system that makes this a different kind of pew.
A range of sensors detect the seat position, processing data at the staggering rate of 2000 times a second, which is considerably faster than any other sensors used in current vehicle systems, such as the yaw sensors in electronic stability control systems.
If movement is detected a potent electric motor pushes a scissor frame beneath the seat to nullify the movement.
It can generate 250lb of force and has the ability to push the seat up or down as much as 100mm in one-tenth of a second.
Deciding exactly how much force to use in relation to the seat’s movement is quite a tricky task and indicates how much work has gone into developing the control software.
A variation of this technology could one day sit under our cars, but for the short-term future it looks like making sitting in a truck a whole lot more bearable.
Bose is concentrating on the massive US market, but if it is successful you can expect to see it offered in Australia as an after-market option.
Softly softly: the Bose truck seat irons out the bumps.