Road safety is the product of a complex set of interacting factors that to a major extent, rely on technological advancements in braking systems. A crucial factor in safe braking is a vehicle’s brake response time. Ideally, a moving car should be brought to a safe stop as quickly as possible while adapting to traffic and environmental conditions on the roads at the time of braking. The vehicle’s speed, acceleration, and trajectory are also crucial pieces of this puzzle.
German automaker Mercedes-Benz has been at the forefront of adaptive braking systems for nearly two decades now, and alongside several European auto giants, has furthered the technological push towards expanding the capabilities of standard braking systems to include stability systems and detection technologies. The Mercedes-Benz system also includes the existing features and subsystems such as Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Acceleration Skid Control (ASR) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) that have been shown to reduce vehicular accidents and fatalities.
Today, adaptive braking on Mercedes-Benz cars integrates radar sensor technology and predictive brake priming in preparation for braking based on external driving conditions and the presence as well as the behavior of other vehicles on the road. Even before a driver touches the brake pedal, adaptive brake priming causes brake line pressure to be increased and the brake pads are brought closer to the disc brakes. The system also detects the instant at which a driver’s foot leaves the accelerator and prepares for braking immediately. Radar sensors prepare a braking system in a similar manner when the trajectory and position of another vehicle necessitate emergency or responsive braking. Adaptive braking is also essential for poor weather and sloped terrain conditions. Wet weather brake drying uses the brake pads to remove moisture from the discs, enhancing braking capabilities while driving in the rain. The Mercedes-Benz system includes a Hill Start Assist system to prevent a car from rolling forward or backward while on an incline, enabling a driver to start a car safely on a steep uphill gradient.
Adaptive braking technology is expected to spread through the automotive world and eventually be a standard feature on cars and light trucks before being customized for larger vehicles.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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