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BroncoBuckaroo

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This might be why they trademarked G.O.A.T.

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https://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?docid=10315481&SectionNum=1&IDKey=9B26721B4FEB&HomeUrl=http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2%26Sect2=HITOFF%26u=%252Fnetahtml%252FPTO%252Fsearch-adv.htm%26r=1%26f=G%26l=50%26d=PTXT%26p=1%26S1=(%2522Ford%2BGlobal%2Btechnologies%2522%2BAND%2B%2522dynamic%2Bsuspension%2522)%26OS=%2522Ford%2BGlobal%2Btechnologies%2522%2BAND%2B%2522dynamic%2Bsuspension%2522%26RS=(%2522Ford%2BGlobal%2Btechnologies%2522%2BAND%2B%2522dynamic%2Bsuspension%2522)

The 2021 Ford Bronco's Suspension May Rock Babies to Sleep, Dance to Music
Oh, and there's even a "Daredevil" suspension mode—provided this patent is for the Bronco.
Nick Yekikian Apr 14, 2020

We're eagerly awaiting the new 2021 Ford Bronco, the resurrected 4x4 whose scheduled reveal this spring was pushed back by, well, global events. But hey, we're stuck inside and antsy, so we went digging to see if we could turn up any of the Bronco secrets Ford is holding close to the vest. (After all, we had luck dredging up renderings, factory paint colors, roof design details, transmission specs, leaked photos, and more. ) A newly discovered patent has given us our latest morsel of Bronco goodness: It suggests the new Ford SUV will have a very intricate terrain-response system and a (very) active suspension setup.

The Ford patent describes a complex mating of hardware and software that essentially links the Bronco's (possibly optional) electronically adjustable suspension system to a monitoring setup tracking traffic, weather, terrain, and even what kind of music you're listening to to determine the car's optimal ride height and suspension behavior. It works both on the fly, automatically, and at the behest of the driver, via several apparently driver-selectable modes.

The system, at least in patent-filing-speak, is called Anomaly Mitigation Suspension Mode, and while it isn't assigned specifically to the Bronco, there's almost no chance it's destined for any future Ford product not named "Bronco."

We aren't sure if A.M.S.M. is what this intricate setup will be called when or if it is ever officially launched. Perhaps not coincidentally, Ford also trademarked the term "G.O.A.T Modes," which is described as "drive systems comprised of automatic controls for vehicle chassis and powertrain controllers, integrated as an integral part of a passenger vehicle." While you might be familiar with G.O.A.T's popular sports meaning—Greatest of All Time—here it could well be a play on words pertaining to, um, actual goats. As in, goats are quite good at climbing and handling harsh terrain. Obviously Ford's trademark indicates an acronym, but for what, it doesn't say. Perhaps it means "Go On Any Terrain," or "Get Over Any Terrain?"

Whatever it is ultimately called, it sounds as though the system will be on almost all the time and capable of changing the Bronco's right height depending on what kind of surface it's driving on, suggesting that whether you're on normal roads or sand dunes, the system will be finding ways to optimize ride height and suspension characteristics. The patent also mentions off-road specific features, such as lowering only the nose when climbing a steep grade to give the driver a slightly better view forward, rather than staring at a windshield full of sky.

The only image offered in the patent, here we see the four wheels linked to a central control unit that controls the 2021 Bronco's active suspension.

The patent says there are various "targets" that the Bronco's system will use to determine what suspension mode it should be in. (Think of target as another word for variable—these variables are constantly monitored, fed back into the car's brain, and the ride height is optimized accordingly.) Targets include the type of terrain the car is on, how much traffic there is around you, the weather at your location, what kind of fuel economy you're trying to achieve, and which drive mode (separate from the suspension settings, like, say "sport" or "eco") that you're in.

Once the vehicle understands its context—very existential, Ford!—it settles on one of the many, many suspension modes described in the patent. Some have rather bland names and purposes, but a few practically jumped off the patent filing, such as Entertainment Mode, Music Mode, and Daredevil Mode—no, we aren't making these up. Entertainment mode monitors the driver's "non-traditional" inputs to determine which of the other two modes—Music or Daredevil—to activate. Music mode will set or fluctuate the car's ride height to match whatever's coming out of your speakers. It sounds like, but we can't be sure, this might bump the vehicle around like the active suspension in Mercedes-Benz's GLE-Class SUV. The intent there, other than having fun and showing off to your friends, is ostensibly freeing the GLE if it were to be stuck in deep sand or snow by jiggling it up and down.

Daredevil mode, according to the patent, claims "the vehicle's suspension height may be mapped to the target suspension height such that the vehicle . . . can be driven on, for example, two and/or three wheels without overturning." While it's probably not for wheelies, or road use in general, the ability to tilt the car over on one side might actually prove useful for clearing narrow off-road obstacles or setting a tire perfectly on a boulder or even balancing a Bronco if one or more wheels lose purchase while traversing particularly egregious terrain. Here are the other suspension modes listed in the patent:
  • Mobility (the Avoidance, Traffic, Freight, and City Mobility modes fall under the Mobility umbrella)
  • Avoidance (adjusts to deliver quicker responses from the suspension)
  • Traffic (basically a comfort mode)
  • Freight (sounds like load leveling, in which the suspension accounts for a heavy cargo load)
  • City Mobility (sets the vehicle up for "aggressive" driving)
  • Cooperative (matches ride height to that of a nearby vehicle to facilitate transfer of cargo between them)
  • Utility (the Office, Towing, Cradle, and Rest modes fall under the Utility umbrella)
  • Office (a quiet, comfort-focused mode geared toward remote working within the car)
  • Towing (optimises the suspension for towing)
  • Cradle (no joke, this "assigns a low-frequency movement to the vehicle" to soothe a baby)
  • Resting (similar to the office setting, this makes the ride quiet and squishy)
  • Suspension Minder (the haptic and safety modes fall under the Suspension Minder umbrella)
  • Haptic (driver alerts can be registered by body motions / vibrations induced by the suspension)
  • Safety (maximizes suspension stability for safe avoidance maneuvers, similar to "avoidance" above)
  • Driver (Novice and Expert Driver functions fall under the Driver umbrella)
  • Expert Driver (if the vehicle determines the driver to be more experienced, it sets up the vehicle accordingly)
  • Novice Driver (if the vehicle determines the driver to be inexperienced, it sets up the vehicle accordingly)
  • Fun-to-Ride (this delivers a "rough ride" for a "fun-to-ride sensation for vehicle occupants")
  • Fun-to-Drive (sets up the suspension for aggressive on-road driving)
  • Quiet (works "in tandem with, for example, active noise cancellation to reduce road-induced noise and/or detected vehicle vibrations)
  • Vigilance Boosting (similar to the Haptic function, this detects driver fatigue and can buzz the car via the suspension to wake him or her up)
How it all works in practice is yet to be seen, or if it's even headed to the Bronco at all, but if it does, we can't wait to try it out for ourselves—especially that Daredevil mode.



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I'm trying to figure out how it could switch from solid to independent front suspension at the push of a button...is this basically a really stiff, disconnecting sway bar?
 

JimmyDean

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I'm trying to figure out how it could switch from solid to independent front suspension at the push of a button...is this basically a really stiff, disconnecting sway bar?
instead of just a disconnecting sway bar, could you somehow have the a-arms and diff on a separate than the main frame frame, and disconnect it from the frame but lock all the joints? probably more complicated than whatever this is.

I wonder....

anything I can think of though would make it a bitch and a half to customize, so it has to be something I can't even comprehend right now.
 

BAUS67

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I'm trying to figure out how it could switch from solid to independent front suspension at the push of a button...is this basically a really stiff, disconnecting sway bar?

That's what the big red button was on the dash of the mules. It's Optimus Prime:LOL:

On a more serious note looks like line 40 in the summary has something about ride height adjustment. 🤔
 

dmtndan

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Maybe it acts like portals some how. Maybe it’s a 3 piece axle that can lock to be a “solid” axle. Allowing there to be an independent suspension on the outer ends, and then when locked it becomes one axle? Idk, darts at a wall in the dark.
 

Stampede.Offroad

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It sounds like an extension of the idea behind Fox dynamic shocks and disconnecting swaybars. Lots of sensors and motor actuated parts.

For now it can sit in a dusty folder next to the shower curtain thing patent.
 

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Any of these buttons look related? Hard to tell.

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Nickp

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WRANGLER PROBABLY TOTALED SEARCHING FOR SHITBOX
Any of these buttons look related? Hard to tell.

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A while back a guy who seemed to be “in the know” on the blue oval forums described some of the Bronco trim levels with emojis. I have tried to find the post again but I think he deleted it. Since we don’t have all of them here I believe this is what it was, in screenshot form:
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My guess is that everything we have seen so far that is Bronco related is the sunglasses emoji or lesser. And the “‘mind blown” is obviously the “raptor.” But I distinctly remember there being another one.... that is possibly where this tech could take shape.
 

BuckedOff-Road

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All I'm saying is if it doesn't have a "stampede" mode as it's performance mode, I don't want it! You gotta "let those ponies run!" 🤣 seriously though, can we get this added? 😅
 

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Have you all seen that crazy electric spider legged of road machine that has been around for a few years now? Maybe its got actuators that individually adjust wheel height during rock crawling situations. Ya know like when a wheel thats needed for traction is hanging off the ground because you are all twisted and flexed out. Maybe active components force that tire down to get traction?
Thats my guess.
 

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