Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) is a safety mechanism provided in most of the new models of vehicles. Sudden application of ordinary brake on wet and slippery surfaces leads to skidding. ABS is a security feature to reduce accidents during braking.

What is Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)?

Anti-Lock Braking System is an electronically controlled braking mechanism that prevents the wheels from locking up and skidding on sudden application of brake on low grip surfaces.  Thus ABS provides added safety for the vehicle and passengers and reduces accidents.

What is cadence braking?

A brake is a mechanical device that slows down or stops a moving vehicle by applying friction. The brake converts kinetic energy to heat, electrical energy and other forms of energy and brings the moving system into a gradual halt.

Pumping the brake pedal and bringing the vehicle to safe halt in a slippery surface is known as cadence braking or stutter braking. This braking technique is used when an emergency halt is required on a surface where the grip is less. Sudden braking with ordinary brakes in such surfaces leads to skidding and wheel locking.

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What is the working principle of Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)?

Anti-Lock Braking System follows the principle of cadence braking in a more efficient manner. In this system, sensors monitor the movement of wheels.  An electronic system assesses the signals sent by the sensors. If the system identifies that a wheel is rotating slowly, it is an indication that the wheel is locking up or about to lock.  The system automatically reduces the pressure on the brake by activating a relief valve till it ensures that all wheels are rotating at same speed.  In a cadence braking there is limitation on the number of times a driver can do the pumping. But in Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), the process can be carried out many times per second.  Thus ABS ensures more control, stability and safety of the vehicle and passengers.

What are the advantages of Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)?

It is proven in tests that a vehicle fitted with Anti-Lock Braking System stops in a much shorter distance than an identical vehicle without the feature. Also steering continues to work even at maximum brake pressure.  It is easy to control the direction of an ABS fitted vehicle by controlling steering as the wheels are rotating without locking up. At the same time, while driving on a loose surface, there are chances that ABS may get confused and interfere in driving.

What are the components of Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)?

The electronic controller in ABS carries out safe braking through application of three other components of the system.  Speed sensors placed in each wheel give information on the speed of each wheel to the electronic controller. The system identifies the speed differential and gives message to the valve or pump linked to the wheel to reduce or increase brake pressure to decelerate or accelerate. While valve releases the pressure on the brake, pump is used to restore the pressure.The electronic controller is programmed in such a way to respond to various situations based on the inputs provided by the sensors. Anti-Lock Braking System is classified based on  the number of sensors and the types of brakes used. What are different types of brakes?

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Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Article Name
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) is an electronically controlled braking mechanism that prevents locking up and skidding of wheels on sudden application of brake.

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