Volkswagen developing software-driven chassis and steering tech

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Volkswagen will introduce a series of innovative new, software-driven technologies for its next-generation vehicles, including new chassis and steering systems.

The updates to the driving dynamics of many of Volkswagen’s models were revealed in an online webinar on Monday, led by Karsten Schebsdat, the firm’s head of driving dynamics.

The new chassis is said to greatly improve ride quality and overall comfort, and will be implemented into both electric and internal combustion models.

The firm presented its Arteon saloon with the chassis equipped, with pitching reduced and composure improved when on bumpy roads. Volkswagen says it will aid the shift to autonomy, allowing passengers to comfortably enjoy hobbies like reading a book.

The overall dynamics of the brand’s models are also set to improve with the new chassis technology. Volkswagen claims it will reduce rolling and improve the responsiveness and precision of the car’s handling.

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Volkswagen is also developing a new, software-based steering system that can be tailored to specific models and customer preferences. The firm says it cannot yet reveal what the two new systems look like or when they will be implemented into production models.

The system would mean there is no steering column, and no physical connection between the driver and the car’s wheels.

“The body’s pitching and rolling movements are significantly minimised and the driving dynamics optimised because the car reacts to steering movements more quickly and is more precise to drive,” said Schebsdat.

“And this development is very important in terms of highly automated driving. This is how we ensure passengers are as comfortable as possible in all situations.”

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Software is a big part of Volswagen’s Accelerate strategy and is a key focus for the brand.

“Software will also be more important for steering in the future,” said Schebsdat. “It gives us many more opportunities to influence steering characteristics, which can be implemented on a model-specific basis for all platforms later on.”

Driver assistance systems such as lane assist and travel assist will also benefit from the new steering system, the firm says.

Jack Warrick

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