Ride quality

Ride quality refers to the degree of protection offered vehicle occupants from uneven elements in the road surface, or the terrain if driving off-road. A car with very good ride quality is also a comfortable car to ride in. Cars which disturb vehicle occupants with major or minor road irregularities would be judged to have low ride quality.

Importance

While pleasant, the comfort of the vehicle driver is also important for car safety, both because of driver fatigue on long journeys in uncomfortable vehicles, and also because road disruption can impact the driver's ability to control the vehicle. Early vehicles, like the Ford Model T, with its live axle suspension design, were both uncomfortable and handled poorly.

Automakers often perceive providing an adequate degree of ride quality as a compromise with car handling, because cars with firm suspension offer more roll stiffness, keeping the tires more perpendicular to the road. Similarly, a lower center of gravity is more ideal for handling, but leaves very little vertical space for bump absorption before these disturb the passengers.

Technology

Over time, technology has shifted this curve outward, so that it is possible to offer vehicles that are extremely comfortable and still handle very well, like the Citroën DS, or vehicles with excellent handling that are also reasonably comfortable, like the BMW 5-Series.

Technology from the latter half of the 20th Century is not the only means to achieve ride quality - massive weight coupled with very soft suspension settings is also an option - as seen on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and the Cadillac in the 1950s and 1960s, which weighed over 5,000 lbs. The downside is that massive weight also contributes to poor fuel efficiency. In the United States, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard effectively prohibits the return to a passenger vehicle fleet of what now appear to be comically oversized cars from the 1950s and 1960s. In the rest of the world, the high price of gasoline effectively prevents most motorists from using massively heavy cars.

Impacts on ride quality

Load bearing also interferes with ride quality - the suspension settings are very stiff so the vehicle doesn't change pitch when loaded - most trucks thus do not ride particularly comfortably. In passenger vehicles, self-leveling suspension has been introduced to counteract this effect.

Road construction quality and maintenance have a direct impact on ride quality in vehicles. In jurisdictions where all roads are as smooth as pool tables, the passengers are undisturbed already and the vehicle can be optimized for a higher degree of handling. In most industrialized countries, as well as in many development countries, pavement condition is scanned on road network level using laser/inertial road Profilometers. The Profilometer records road geometry and condition while driving at highway speed. Results from Profilometry can be used to design an optimal geometric pavement repair, eliminating all long wave unevenness, roughness, erroneous cross slope magnitudes and undesired cross slope variance, with the least road grinding and paving efforts. The outcome is a surface with superior ride quality.

References

[http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mscp/lfnv/2004/00000023/00000002/art00003 Reducing Whole-body Vibration by Geometric Repair of Pavements, Journal of Low Frequency Noise, Vibration and Active Control]

[http://www.roadex.org/Publications/docs-RIII-EN/Health%20Issues%20-%20RIII.pdf Health issues raised by poorly maintained road networks, The EU Northern Periphery Roadex III project (co-funded by the European Union)]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Quality Inn Tanglewood — (Roanoke,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 3816 Franklin Rd., S …   Каталог отелей

  • Quality Inn Creekside Gatlinburg — (Гатлинберг,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 125 LeC …   Каталог отелей

  • Quality Inn East Fargo — (Fargo,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 1407 35th Street South …   Каталог отелей

  • Quality Hotel & Conference Center — (Ниагара Фолс,Канада) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 5807 Ferry Street, L2 …   Каталог отелей

  • Quality Inn & Suites Mt. Juliet — (Mount Juliet,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 1000 H …   Каталог отелей

  • Quality Inn Riverview Enola Harrisburg — (Enola,США) Категория отеля: 2 звездочный отель Адрес: 501 North Enola …   Каталог отелей

  • ride a wave of something — ride a/the wave of sth idiom to enjoy or be supported by the particular situation or quality mentioned • Schools are riding a wave of renewed public interest. Main entry: ↑rideidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • ride the wave of something — ride a/the wave of sth idiom to enjoy or be supported by the particular situation or quality mentioned • Schools are riding a wave of renewed public interest. Main entry: ↑rideidiom …   Useful english dictionary

  • ride — v. & n. v. (past rode; past part. ridden) 1 tr. travel or be carried on (a bicycle etc.) or esp. US in (a vehicle). 2 intr. (often foll. by on, in) travel or be conveyed (on a bicycle or in a vehicle). 3 tr. sit on and control or be carried by (a …   Useful english dictionary

  • Ride in the Whirlwind — Infobox Film name = Ride in the Whirlwind image size= 175px caption = Film poster created by Jack H. Harris Inc. director = Monte Hellman producer = Jack Nicholson Monte Hellman writer = Jack Nicholson starring = Jack Nicholson Millie Perkins… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.