Audi has revealed yet another system of the upcoming Audi A8 that uses the car's 48-volt electrical system. In addition to a fancy stop-start function, the A8 will have a suspension that can be actuated by electric motors. At each corner of the car is a separate motor connected to an arm that can press down or pull up on the suspension.
These motors are controlled by a computer that monitors the road with a camera to determine how the motors should react to improve ride quality and handling. In the instance of some kind of bump or other road imperfection, the car can actively raise the wheel that would go over that bump, to prevent it from upsetting the ride. When going through a corner, the car can direct the motors on the outside to push up to reduce lean, and the motors on the inside to push down to keep the tires pressed to the road. The system can also help keep the car level when stopping and starting.
There's yet one more feature of the suspension that is rather interesting. In the event the car detects an impending side-impact crash, it can raise up the side that will be hit, to protect the occupants. By raising up that side, the car increases the chance that more of the energy from the impact will be absorbed by the side rails and floor, which are stronger than the doors and pillars.
This nifty new suspension, and the aforementioned start-stop system, will be found on the next-generation Audi A8, which will be officially revealed on July 11. If you can't wait for that, apparently the car has a cameo in "Spider-Man: Homecoming," which hits theaters on June 28.