Fine-Tuning the 1976 Cadillac Seville
Next came the work fine-tuning the 1976 Cadillac Seville. The 1976 Seville's design process relied on Fast Fourier Analysis. Fast Fourier Analysis is now used routinely in developing new cars, but in the early Seventies, Cadillac was virtually alone in pursuing it.
The technology is based on the work of French mathematician and physicist Baron Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier (1768-1830). Fourier worked out a way to analyze harmonics and complex wave forms. He made it possible to measure the fundamental and harmonic content of vibrations. Fast Fourier Analysis uses sensors and computers to chase down automotive chassis vibrations so that engineers can damp them out before they get to the driver and passengers.
By placing up to 100 little accelerometers all over the X-car subframe, suspension and undercarriage, measuring the oscillations and then running these figures through a computer, Templin's engineers could pinpoint exactly where vibrations were coming from. Once they'd located the sources, they could quickly apply fixes.
On the next page, read about the Cadillac Seville's 14-month development process.