Future shocks

Look at a hybrid like the Prius, and you might be surprised at the lengths to which it goes to save fuel.

One important way it can reclaim energy is through regenerative braking, which converts forward momentum to electricity when the car needs to slow down – this is stored in the car’s batteries and used when needed to help accelerate it again.

Now think of a shock absorber, which dampens a car’s suspension, stopping it from bouncing uncontrollably. The energy it absorbs is normally wasted as heat, but this could be set to change.

Gizmag reports that an American university has developed regenerative shock absorbers containing linear motors instead of the usual thick fluid. Movement in the car’s suspension generates not heat, but electricity, which is stored in the battery.

It might sound futuristic, but then, so did regenerative braking, not so long ago.

Comments (4)

  1. Disappointed in price. Can only drive an automatic and love the aygo. Would buy tomorrow if £1000 less

  2. Great looking car, shame the price isn’t innovative?

    £9,200 – its no wonder Car manufacturers are struggling.

  3. Hello W Headcell – we figure that since the Toyota iQ is being acknowledged as such an innovative step forward for the small car, our readers might be interested to hear about other possible innovations of the future.

    We’ll be writing about other examples of design innovation in the coming weeks . . . We’re very excited about the iQ Design Challenge for RCA students, for example.

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