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Bose is building ride-smoothing tech for autonomous cars

Yes, that Bose.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
January 5, 2017
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Bose dabbles in a lot of different things, but the most left-field product could be its ride-smoothing trucker seats. The company is about to demo similar tech for autonomous cars at its "Beyond Sound" CES experience in Las Vegas. Specifically, it'll show off a (simulated) autonomous vehicle equipped with Bose Ride suspension seating that "isolates passengers from road vibrations, shaking and unwanted motion," the company said in a press release.

The idea is that if you're going to be driven around by a robot anyway, so why not feel like you're in your living room or office, rather than a lurching car? "Our personal suspension technology is already proven, and it can dramatically enhance the passenger experience," Bose Automotive VP Marc Mansell said in a statement, referring to the Bose Ride truck seats that debuted in 2010.

Bose actually started dabbling with the tech way back in the 1980s. Founder Amar Bose wanted to improve the ride in cars, and actually invented a full active-suspension system that was pretty far ahead of its time (see the video below). That eventually led to the truck seats, which smooth the ride in notoriously rough big rigs, reportedly leading to reduced fatigue and back pain in drivers.

Bose says it's adapting the single-axis tech used in heavy trucks to a multi-axis design more appropriate for passenger vehicles. Though it's just a concept for now, it should be interesting to try, even in demo form. We'll try to give it a whirl and let you know how it goes.

Click here to catch up on the latest news from CES 2017.
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