Many years ago, Bose unveiled ‘Project Sound’, an active suspension system that you’ve probably seen on the internet at some point or another. If you haven’t, kindly refer to the video posted below and be amazed at how the system deals with body roll and smoothing out bumps.

The system developed by Bose uses electromagnetic struts that could instantly extend or retract any one wheel, allowing it keep the car’s body level over bumps and even jump over an obstacle. As impressive as it was, the heft and cost of the system meant it was never integrated as a mainstream solution for passenger cars.

However, in 2017, a Boston-based company called ClearMotion acquired the project from Bose along with the associated predictive road-sensing software, and is looking to put the technology into production.

The company was founded out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2009, and has raised over US$130 million in funding to date. It aims to create a fully active suspension system with a similar package size as a standard shock absorber.

As described by the company, the primary component in its system is the Activalve, a software-controlled, electro-hydraulic device consisting of magnets, a motor and digital controller. It constantly monitors road conditions ahead of the vehicle and can counteract any potential disturbance by exacting pressure on the damper within five milliseconds.

Designed to be mounted on the side of standard shock absorbers and aligned to twin- or tri-tube systems used in most cars, the company claims minimal modifications are needed for the body and chassis. It adds that a system of four Activalves creates what it calls the ‘Digital Chassis’, while machine learning continuously improves your car’s ride over time.

Applications for the system include standard passenger cars as well as autonomous vehicles, and ClearMotion is working with companies like Bridgestone and Qualcomm to see it come to fruition.