Memmel, A. and Berberich, A., "Variable Damping - One Solution for Solving the Conflict between Driving Safety and Comfort for Commercial Vehicle," SAE Technical Paper 2014-36-0001, 2014, doi:10.4271/2014-36-0001.
Variable Damping systems for commercial vehicle applications have been in the market for several years now. The systems modify damping according to the actual demand within milliseconds. This reduces vertical accelerations which lead to improved comfort while maintaining vehicle stability and safety at the same time. Driver, cargo and vehicle are better protected.The technical effort for variable damping systems was in the past rather high and affected a limited market penetration. On the other side the used control algorithms did not tap the full potential of the system performance.New concepts, like integration of sensors or concentration on the most relevant axle, in combination with new control algorithms, simplifies the systems architecture and improves the performance.Besides the functional advantages, the system improves vehicle efficiency as it reduces the energy dissipated by the dampers. This energy would have to be generated by the engine. Less damping also relates to reduction of fuel consumption.