MIT engineers have built a shock absorber which, in large vehicles, can generate enough energy to charge the battery and power electronics such as lights and stereo. In conventional vehicles, shocks transform vertical vibration caused by crossing a trail with bumps into heat. Heat is then wasted. MIT shock absorber, called GenShock, store energy generated by crossing a bumpy and turns it into useful electricity, easing the burden alternator fuel dependency. This change improves vehicle consumption. Also, the driver and passengers will enjoy smoother journeys due to an electronic system that monitors and responds force generated by the shocks.
Engineers have identified in the suspensions an important source of wasted energy, especially on heavy trucks. This represents the solution for serious problems. GenShock is most useful in vehicles that cross long distances, such as trailers used to transport goods or military vehicles that must go on ruff terrain. Although GenShock is not yet sufficiently effective in terms of costs for product or for small cars, the engineers hope to be able to combine it with other systems to maximize energy collection efficiency automotive consumer.
Some of these technologies are already used in hybrid vehicles: BMW and Honda have devices that recover heat from the engine discharges or from energy dissipated when braking. But the ability to creatively capture the energy of the vehicle is not limited only to the car. London and Israel plan to encompass the generators in roads to collect the energy dissipated from the traffic.