This paper examines, through simulation, a low cost active suspension system intended for use on passenger vehicles. The system retains the conventional suspension spring and damper elements and replaces the anti-roll bar with an active device, responding to transducer signals on the vehicle. Whilst conventional passive suspensions are at best a compromise solution to the conflicting requirements of ride and handling, this new system aims to prevent roll and thus improve passenger comfort and safety. The ride and handling of a standard production vehicle with a passive suspension is studied using a simulation model incorporating measured parametric data. A model of the same vehicle with active roll control is developed and the improvements in ride and handling are established. The effect of limited bandwidth performance from the central controller and hydraulic components is investigated by simulation. The vehicle model can be used to predict performance and help the automotive engineer in the difficult task of system design.

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