Hanover, Germany – Continental AG has unveiled a digital electronic air-spring damping solution for the driver’s cab in trucks during the IAA Commercial Vehicles in Hanover, 20-27 Sept.
The product, which was developed at a cross-divisional level, is a holistic suspension system that allows the level of the driver's cab to be regulated electronically, Contitech announced 17 Sept.
The feature is based on four air-spring damper modules with integrated ultrasonic height and air pressure sensors as well as a control unit programmed with a special regulation algorithm.
“We designed this system to enhance driver-comfort and safety on uneven road surfaces,” said Holger Brüning, head of the air springs for the driver’s seats and cabs unit at Continental.
The system improves ride-comfort through frequency-selective damping and automatic damping adjustment in response to weight changes.
In combination with electronic control, it can help to optimise the behaviour of the cab when the truck is in motion or stationary such as during parking.
“With our system, the driver can bring the cab into a horizontal position at the touch of a button,” Brüning added.
One new feature is that when the truck is being driven on the highway, air-resistance can be reduced by lowering the entire cabin.
In the process, intelligent software regulates the air supply electronically, which can also help to reduce fuel consumption.
Conventional air springs are combined with hydraulic dampers and are mechanically controlled in an "efficient way", according to Brüning. The electronic air spring damping, he added, is a “revolutionary new approach”.
Continental’s technology also provides functions such as cab kneeling and lifting – for example, when coupling or in the workshop.
The air spring also helps noise-reduction and is lighter and more eco-friendly than conventional air sprit systems, Conti added.
Additionally, the underlying sensor technology can help with other applications such as predictive maintenance.