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Apple's fourth automotive patent in July was a wire-controlled steering suspension system that helps reduce roll resistance, shared the China Auto Parts Trade Fair.

U.S patent and trademark office (uspto) on July 16. The Patent and Trademark Office officially released 60 new apple patents, including a new vehicle suspension structure, and more specifically, a vehicle suspension structure using a wire-controlled steering configuration.

Apple's fourth automotive patent in July was a wire-controlled steering suspension system that helps reduce roll resistance

Apple points out that the car's suspension system connects the vehicle to the wheels, allowing the chassis to move relative to the wheels. The automobile suspension can provide passengers with a comfortable ride experience while ensuring the accurate steering and steering of the vehicle on various roads. Traditional steering systems connect the steering wheel directly to the wheels mechanically. These include power-assisted steering systems such as HPAS and EPAS.

Often, automotive steering and suspension parts and configuration are designed to make it consistent with the wheel, thereby improving the pilot experience, such as through the wheel disturbance compensation method (such as wheel unbalance, vibration, the design tolerance wheel and tire uneven wear caused by disturbance), keep the direction stability, and enhance the driver's steering feel, at the same time let the automatic wheel and steering and suspension parts.

To provide these characteristics, in general, China Auto Parts Trade Show shares that the steering shaft of each wheel used for steering is tilted relative to the vertical axis of the wheel, whether from the side, front or back. In addition, the steering shaft is somewhat offset from the center of the wheel. Based on the characteristics of the steering shaft, the ground contact (the contact between the tire and the ground) generates a steering torque. More specifically, the kingpin dip towing (the distance from the center of the contact surface to the intersection of the steering shaft and the ground, as seen from the front and rear of the vehicle) creates a steering torque that allows the steering shaft to be adjusted according to the longitudinal force of the tire to accelerate or brake.

China Auto Parts Trade Fair

China Auto Parts Trade Fair

The backward dip traction distance (that is, from the side of the vehicle, from the center of the contact surface to the intersection point between the steering shaft and the ground) also generates a steering torque, which can be adjusted to the steering shaft according to the lateral force of the tire to turn or turn. However, this type of operation creates a "lift" effect (rise or fall) at the center of the wheel, which causes the body to rise or fall with it.

In addition, a tire showed by China international auto parts exhibition is usually part of a wheel that automatically aligns itself with the steering system when turning. More precisely, in turn operation, the lateral force tends to be concentrated at the center of the contact surface of the tire drag. Because of this force, the lateral force in the turn direction is generated at the tire drag, thus forming a wheel that can adjust its torque.

Therefore, HPAS and EPAS systems in which the driver controls the steering system of the vehicle must be able to overcome the above mentioned challenges of mechanical self-adjustment, tow-distance self-adjustment and lifting effect in order to correctly execute the steering instructions of the driver. In addition, an inclined steering shaft increases the likelihood of tire wear and wheel roll resistance.

Apple's inventions include a car suspension system that includes suspension components connected to the frame and steering knuckles that connect the suspension components to the wheels for steering. The knuckle is connected to the frame and the wheel via the suspension assembly, providing a steering shaft with zero inclination for the wheel, eliminating the possibility of the wheel returning to the center position when turning. According to the patent, not going back to the center itself reduces rolling resistance and improves tire wear. But it also loses a sense of steering, which, if used for self-driving cars, might not be a problem.

Apple says the wire-controlled steering system does not use physical hinges to allow the steering wheel to perform turns, so it could be used in self-driving cars. Apple also pointed out that its solution could make steering and suspension system components smaller and lighter, improving vehicle efficiency and reducing packaging.


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