Automakers often perceive providing an adequate degree of ride quality as a compromise with car handling, because cars with firm suspension offer more roll stiffness, keeping the tires more perpendicular to the road. Similarly, a lower center of gravity is more ideal for handling, but leaves very little vertical space for bump absorption before these disturb the passengers.
Technology from the latter half of the 20th Century is not the only means to achieve ride quality - massive weight coupled with very soft suspension settings is also an option - as seen on the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and the Cadillac in the 1950s and 1960s, which weighed over 5,000 lbs. The downside is that massive weight also contributes to poor fuel efficiency. In the United States, the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard effectively prohibits the return to a passenger vehicle fleet of what now appear to be comically oversized cars from the 1950s and 1960s. In the rest of the world, the high price of gasoline effectively prevents most motorists from using massively heavy cars.
Road construction quality and maintenance have a direct impact on ride quality in vehicles. In jurisdictions where all roads are as smooth as pool tables, the passengers are undisturbed already and the vehicle can be optimized for a higher degree of handling. In most industrialized countries, as well as in many development countries, pavement condition is scanned on road network level using laser/inertial road Profilometers. The Profilometer records road geometry and condition while driving at highway speed. Results from Profilometry can be used to design an optimal geometric pavement repair, eliminating all long wave unevenness, roughness, erroneous cross slope magnitudes and undesired cross slope variance, with the least road grinding and paving efforts. The outcome is a surface with superior ride quality.