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What Is The Meaning Of ABS In Cars?


Cars face a lot of emergencies where you need to go for an emergency, harsh panic braking. Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) is a piece of equipment preventing a car from locking up under such braking situations. All two or four-wheelers now come with ABS, thanks to the new safety regulations. When you put emergency brake, there is a possibility of immediate loss of traction between the road surface and the tires. This might lead to a skid. The situation becomes even more dangerous when you are no more in control of what is happening. The result can be a serious accident, injury, or even death. This is where ABS rescue you.

Invention of ABS

ABS was first tested in 1950 on aircraft and railway cars. At the same time, the system was also incorporated into motorcycle test models to assist in preventing loss of traction and sliding. In the 1960s, the system was first used on a four-wheeler. At this point, Mercedes Benz and Daimler started working on a system suitable for cars. After trial and error, Mercedes Benz announced the technology at a Daimler test track in 1978. Since then, car manufacturers have started implementing the system on more and more cars. It made cars safer; today, almost all cars have ABS, greatly improving road safety.

The Process

1. In a car, there are wheel speed sensors on the wheels monitoring the speed of each wheel. ECU is the control unit that interprets the signal from each sensor. When the speed of a wheel reduces significantly more than others, the speed sensors detect it, and ECU sends a signal to the valves of the respective wheel to bring down the brake pressure, and the valves are closed.

2. The wheels here start to speed up again, and the signal is generated for the ECU again. It sends the signal to open the valve in turn and enhances the brake pressure. Hence, brakes are applied.

3. The entire process loops until the brakes’ utilization fall under normal parameters.

Do ABS Brakes Help With Safety?

Intuitively, it might be the best way to lock up your brakes to stop immediately. However, physics does not work that way. A wheel is capable of turning the vehicle only when it’s rolling. If the wheels begin to skid, the car will travel in a straight line no matter where the wheels are turned. This is a major cause of an accident, specifically when a driver tries to avoid another vehicle. If the wheels continue rolling, the driver can keep maneuvering the car even when braking is hard.

ABS provides great safety on roads under quite a few different road conditions. For instance, while driving on the road with various conditions, such as a road with patches of ice. The wheels on the dry pavement will grip, while the wheels on ice might start to skid, putting you in a spin. Modern ABS having electronic stability control will assist immensely in this scenario. ESC measures the yaw rate of the car and the relative slip of each tire. Brake pressure is reduced a bit on wheels having the most grip to make adjustments, so the grip is reduced, and vehicle control is maintained.

How Effective Are Antilock Brakes?

ABS brakes are quite effective, but they do have constraints. An efficient driver can have a shorter reaction time than ABS in some conditions, such as loose gravel or snow. It is because, with ABS, the brakes are quickly engaging and disengaging. On soft and slippery surfaces, the wheels keep sliding and rolling; from rolling back to sliding, it goes on. Hence, the driver who understands threshold braking can, in specific situations, perform better than ABS. However, threshold braking requires experience and patience, especially in a stressful situation. The roads can be quite hazardous during the winter months, so you must give yourself plenty of leeway to come to a full stop. Even on snowy and icy roads, ABS improves control while braking hard.

Driving has become difficult as the weather is changing around the world. It is hard to drive in snowy regions. It sometimes becomes life-threatening. Hard braking often becomes necessary to save some creature or object, such as another vehicle, or to save yourself. In that case, you must ensure that such a brake is safe. ABS makes these hard and panic brakes safer, while without ABS, it can cause serious injuries and deaths. It is not only about the snowy and icy roads, but some roads are unpredictable. People do not follow traffic rules. A dog or a cat might show up, or anything that needs you to apply the harsh brake. These are the cases for which ABS has been introduced.

What If The Car Lacks An ABS?

Having no ABS in the car can be a great risk since your wheels will slide in case of harsh breaks. This causes serious accidents, injuries, and even deaths, so having this equipment in the car is necessary. Making it a regulation for all two and four-wheelers to have ABS was a great strategy to ensure safety. The absence of ABS in your vehicle is threatening not only to you but all the vehicles and people surrounding your vehicle. ABS can avoid any potential accident by allowing your car to stop safely, even in dire situations. Although ABS increases the cost of the vehicle, the safety it provides to the car owner, driver, and all passengers are worth everything. Driving a car without ABS is a sign of an extremely irresponsible car owner.

What Should Automotive Technicians know?

For automotive technicians, it is essential to understand all of the components of modern-day vehicles. The components include ABS, which allows them to diagnose, repair, and maintain the cars they work on. It helps their patrons stay safe on the road. Various automotive technicians choose to get “on-the-job training.” However, many employers prefer hiring those with completed formal training programs. Those who have completed the program know how ABS works and how important it is for safety purposes.

Technological advancement, competition, and regulations have forced all car manufacturers to include ABS in their new cars. It is required by law that car manufacturers incorporate ABS as an essential feature. The idea was to ensure that the car, driver, and passengers were safe and that other vehicles, people, creatures, and objects on the road were safe. You can find ABS in all new cars since it has become mandatory. ABS not only provide safety but also allows you to act responsibly. Any incident can happen on the road, you cannot control everything, but you can at least do the maximum you can to avoid any mishap. Hence, ABS should be mandatory in all two and four-wheelers to ensure safety.

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