Automotive Glossary

Active Body Control

Active Body Control

The active suspension system Active Body Control, developed by Mercedes-Benz, resolves the traditional conflict between active safety, responsive handling and ride comfort and is thus an important landmark in passenger car design. Using high-pressure hydraulic servos, an ingenious sensor system and high-performance microprocessors, ABC adapts the suspension and damping to different driving situations. The computer-controlled hydraulic servos or "plungers", which are mounted in the spring struts between the coil springs and the body, develop additional forces which act on the suspension and damping to control body motion. ABC is designed to control body vibrations in the frequency range up to 5 Hz - the kind of vibrations typically caused by uneven road surfaces or by braking and cornering. To control the higher-frequency wheel vibrations, passive gas-pressure shock absorbers and coil springs are used, which can be tuned for high ride quality. ABC virtually eliminates body movements when moving off from rest, when cornering and when braking. Cornering roll on S-Class models equipped with ABC is significantly reduced and there are also safety advantages in high-speed evasive manoeuvres compared with cars with conventional suspension systems. A press of a button on the centre console allows drivers to choose between comfortable or sporty suspension settings.

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