In this post and video, we’ll explain to you in layman terms, what is ABS?, Explain how it functions and how it saves your life every day & answer the most important question, would braking be the same today without ABS?
What is ABS?
Automatic Braking System.
Well, it means, anti-lock braking system. To explain the function of ABS most easily, imagine you are running at your maximum pace, and you were to stop suddenly by applying equal stopping force on both your feet. I bet you cannot imagine a single scenario where you do not end up in a hospital with a broken leg?
We distribute the stopping force between our feet to slow down gradually without falling over; cars are pretty much the same when it comes to braking.
Engineered primarily for aeroplanes and railways in the early 1950s, ABS made its way to our cars later in the 1970s. Mario Palazzetti from Fiat Research Center, known as the Mr ABS, invented the modern Anti-lock Braking System in 1971. But it was Mercedes-Benz that developed the complex brake assist system and launched the first car in the World with ABS in 1978, the W116 S-Class. Since then, automotive brands began developing their own Anti-lock Braking System to offer a safer driving experience.
If you were to brake a car without ABS, all four wheels would receive equal braking force, which locks up the wheels resulting in less traction and lack of control over the steering. Once the wheels lock up, the car loses traction and starts spinning so you no longer have the control over the steering to bring it back in a safe driving line.
The situation gets worse when you are driving on a wet or uneven surface, then the chances of a car losing its control and the straight driving line become very high.
So how does the ABS work?
The ABS works with the help of speed sensors, a valve, hydraulic pump & a controller module. When brakes are applied, the control module senses the speed and level of traction of all four wheels, and the control module then regulates the distributional braking force each millisecond to ensure that the wheel does not lock up, and the vehicle slows down in the shortest duration and length possible, without losing the steering control of the car.
ABS saves our and others lives every day without us even noticing. Our driving speed and braking situation do not matter. ABS works every time we decide to slow the vehicle down. Gau Mata appearing on the road suddenly, uncivilised 2 & 4- Wheelers swerving in our lane, you name the situation, and ABS is there to save you and your car from an accident.
So next time, when you thank your religious idol placed on the dashboard, for saving you from an accident. Do thank your car’s safety features as well, because cars do have emotions? Don’t they?
Will braking be the same today without ABS & can we live without it?
Racing Drivers in the early 1900s used to pump the brake pedal on and off repeatedly to control the brake pressure. This technique had then invented ABS. So it’s safe to say that not all drivers on-road are racing drivers, neither are public roads any racing tracks. So we can’t imagine a day without ABS. We heavily rely on these safety features unknowingly & subconsciously. So with your next car purchase, do upgrade to a variant with extra safety features and do not hesitate to spend that premium amount, as you will get the return on investments when it keeps you safe from horrific road accidents.