Engineers have traditionally relied on subjective assessment and intution during the development and troubleshooting of a vehicle's ride characteristics. For example, while terms such as ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ can convey a qualitative description of an automobile suspension, they are of little use to design engineer. From this need for a design tool, the field of ride quality analysis has emerged.As an introduction to objective ride quality analysis, this presentation provides an overview of the philosophy behind ride comfort models, the way they are applied, and the benefits that may be realized from their use. A correlation study of user surveys with measurements will be reviewed in this work and the most universally accepted ride comfort model, the NASA model, will be explored. When coupled with a repeatable testing methodology, this model can provide a solid foundation for comparative analysis and effective optimization of a vehicle's ride behavior.The authors conclude that in combination with a four-channel road simulator, engineering design decisions can be efficiently augmented with the use of ride comfort models. Benefits range from better quantification of ride quality to move effective troubleshooting.