Ride quality

rideRide controlsmooth rideabsorb road irregularitiescomfortride comfortride qualitiesride-stiffnesssmooth supple ridesmoothness of the ride
Ride quality refers to a vehicle's effectiveness in insulating the occupants from undulations in the road surface (e.g., bumps or corrugations).wikipedia
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Car suspension

suspensionrear suspensionsuspension system
Suspension design is often a compromise between ride quality and car handling, because cars with firm suspension can result in greater control of body movements and quicker reactions.
Suspension systems must support both road holding/handling and ride quality, which are at odds with each other.

Automobile handling

handlingcar handlingvehicle handling
Suspension design is often a compromise between ride quality and car handling, because cars with firm suspension can result in greater control of body movements and quicker reactions.
For these reasons, high unsprung weight reduces road holding and increases unpredictable changes in direction on rough surfaces (as well as degrading ride comfort and increasing mechanical loads).

Leaf spring

leaf springsleaf-sprungleaf-spring
Early vehicles, like the Ford Model T, with its leaf spring, live axle suspension design, were both uncomfortable and handled poorly.
Aside from a weight saving, the main advantage of parabolic springs is their greater flexibility, which translates into vehicle ride quality that approaches that of coil springs.

Shock absorber

shock absorbersdampersdamper
The main factors which affect ride quality are the stiffness of the suspension components (e.g. springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings).
In a vehicle, shock absorbers reduce the effect of traveling over rough ground, leading to improved ride quality and vehicle handling.

Beam axle

live axlesolid axlelive rear axle
Early vehicles, like the Ford Model T, with its leaf spring, live axle suspension design, were both uncomfortable and handled poorly.

Anti-roll bar

sway baranti-roll barsstabilizer bar
The main factors which affect ride quality are the stiffness of the suspension components (e.g. springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings).
The use of anti-roll bars allows designers to reduce roll without making the suspension's springs stiffer in the vertical plane, which allows improved body control with less compromise of ride quality.

Fatigue

exhaustionOverexertiontiredness
Good ride quality provides comfort for the people inside the car, minimises damage to cargo and can reduce driver fatigue on long journeys in uncomfortable vehicles, and also because road disruption can impact the driver's ability to control the vehicle.

Ambulance

ambulancesmedical carMilitary ambulance
Ambulances have a special need for a high level of ride quality, in order to avoid further injury to the already ill passengers.

Ford Model T

Model TModel T FordTin Lizzie
Early vehicles, like the Ford Model T, with its leaf spring, live axle suspension design, were both uncomfortable and handled poorly.

Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud

Silver CloudRolls-Royce Silver Cloud IISilver Cloud II
Historically, weight was key to allowing cars such as the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and the Cadillac in the 1950s and 1960s to have a more comfortable ride quality.

Cadillac

CadillacsCadillac Motor CompanyCadillac Automobile Company
Historically, weight was key to allowing cars such as the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and the Cadillac in the 1950s and 1960s to have a more comfortable ride quality.

Fuel efficiency

fuel consumptionfuel economyfuel efficient
However, there are various drawbacks to heavier cars, including poor fuel efficiency, acceleration, braking, cornering and additional stresses on components.

Active Body Control

Magic Body Control
One technical solution for offering both excellent comfort and reduced or eliminating body roll is by using computer-controlled suspensions, such as hydraulic active suspension system (like Active Body Control) or active anti-roll bars, however such systems are expensive because of their complexity.

Spring (device)

springspringsspring-loaded
The main factors which affect ride quality are the stiffness of the suspension components (e.g. springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings).

Bushing (isolator)

bushingsbushingSilentbloc
The main factors which affect ride quality are the stiffness of the suspension components (e.g. springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings).

Weight distribution

load balancingDistributionbalancing
Other factors include suspension geometry, vehicle mass and weight distribution.

Citroën DS

DSCitroen DSCitroën DS 21
Noted for its aerodynamic, futuristic body design and innovative technology, the DS set new standards in ride quality, handling, and braking — the latter as the first mass production car equipped with disc brakes.

Active suspension

Continuous Damping ControlAdaptive Damping Systemadaptive suspension
These technologies allow car manufacturers to achieve a greater degree of ride quality and car handling by keeping the tires perpendicular to the road in corners, allowing better traction and control.

Air suspension

Adaptive air suspensionAirmaticpneumatic
The purpose of air suspension is to provide a smooth, constant ride quality, but in some cases is used for sports suspension.

Chevrolet Corvair

CorvairChevy CorvairChevrolet Corvair Monza
The rear-engine design offered (or so GM claimed) packaging and economy advantages, providing the car with a lower silhouette, flat passenger compartment floor, less need for power-assisted steering, and improvements in ride quality, traction, and braking balance.

Ford Thunderbird (tenth generation)

Ford ThunderbirdFord Thunderbird Super CoupeFord Thunderbirds
The car featured four-wheel independent suspension, with short-and-long arms (SLA) and a spring strut assembly in the front and multiple links in the rear, that offered excellent handling and ride quality.

American automobile industry in the 1950s

American-made
Before the 1950s, most automobiles used a kingpin-based front suspension, which limited the degree of free movement and ultimately the smoothness of the ride, particularly at higher speeds.

Paul Magès

This advantage is still noted today, especially in applications where ride quality is important, like ambulance design.

Inboard brake

inboardbrake shaftinboard rear brakes
The benefit of such a system is primarily the reduction of unsprung weight which improves handling and ride.

Hydropneumatic suspension

hydropneumaticLHMLHS
The purpose of this system is to provide a sensitive, dynamic and high-capacity suspension that offers superior ride quality on a variety of surfaces.