This is like Tesla’s over-the-air updates but taken to another level.
To the average gearhead, a future filled with autonomous vehicles sounds like a nightmare waiting to happen, but there are actually a few benefits that the technology can have for our beloved supercars. For example, when going into a corner, the same camera and software systems that self-driving cars use to read the road could be employed to see bumps and alter damper settings on the fly. Rolls-Royce does something similar by pairing a GPS to the transmission to make sure rich people don't experience the lurch of a shift.
However Koenigsegg has a similar system that you probably should know about. In a recent blog post to its site, the Swedish hypercar manufacturer detailed one of the reasons that it’s cars are so much more special than the rest of the supercars on the market. Essentially, the technology is a precursor to our hypothetical autonomous suspension system but instead of using computers, it utilizes wireless signals that instruct the car to tune its suspension and the brain of a Koenigsegg engineer to do the tuning. It works a bit like this: owner shows up to any race track in the world but doesn’t know much about how to tune their suspension.
Owner calls the Koenigsegg factory in Sweden where a specialist sends a signal to the hypercar, adjusting the suspension for optimal control on the track. If you think that’s cool, then you might like what a Koenigsegg can be set up to do once on the track. If the engineering team has the time and the will, such as when it’s trying to set a record Nurburgring lap time without crashing, then each corner of the car can be programed to alter ride hight, bump, and rebound on the fly. As Koenigsegg’s blog post put it, “If you’re heading into a corner on a track, for example, the system can be set to pre-load the damper half a second before that corner to provide the best grip prior to the car receiving steering input. It’s a lot of setup work, but it’s all possible.”
The process is tedious, but it’s easy to see how applying this capacity for on the fly adjustments to a semi-autonomous system that scans the track could help supercar owners avoid crashing in the future. The rest of the blog post is worth a read too if you’re into the nitty gritty on suspension and subframe tuning, but none of it is as cool as Koenigsegg’s remote controlled suspension.