Bosch celebrating 30 years of anti-lock braking systems

Jan. 1, 2020
In 1978, it was an innovation. Today, within a short span of 30 years, the electronically controlled antilock braking system, or ABS, has become a standard safety item on most modern vehicles.
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In 1978, it was an innovation. Today, within a short span of 30 years, the electronically controlled antilock braking system, or ABS, has become a standard safety item on most modern vehicles.

"These safety benefits are most apparent when ABS is used effectively to make an emergency stop," says Rob Backode, group product manager for Bosch Braking Systems.

Bosch, which reports it introduced electronically controlled ABS to the automotive market in 1978, is a worldwide supplier of automotive parts and systems to vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. In 2007, more than three-fourths of today's vehicles were equipped with these brakes, and there are many tips and pieces of information you can share with your shop's customers on properly using and caring for their ABS.

Imagine driving down a wet and slippery road and a car suddenly enters your lane in front of you. Conventional wisdom tells you to pump the brakes to slow down and avoid crashing into it. Not so, if your car is equipped with ABS.

"If you are in a sharp braking situation and your car is fitted with ABS, apply continuous and firm pressure on the brake pedal and steer as you normally would," says Backode. "ABS will pump the brakes for you as necessary and keep the car stable, allowing you to steer while braking, and stop safely."

Remind your customers that taking their foot off the brakes may actually prevent this technology from engaging and ABS from performing its function, Backode says.

Speed sensors fitted at each wheel measure the speed and relay that information to a central computer. If a wheel is about to lock up under heavy braking, the system reduces the pressure on that wheel. Once the wheel turns freely, the brake pressure is increased. This release and increase of pressure continues until the driver reduces the force on the brake pedal or the threat of lock up is over.

Instruct your customers to make sure your car has ABS by checking your instrument panel for a yellow ABS indicator light when you turn on your ignition, or consult your owner's manual.

As Bosch celebrates the 30th anniversary of this technology this year, ABS has become the basis for all newer active safety systems such as electronic stability control and traction control.

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