• Follow us

Gadgets

The History of ABS Brakes from Airplanes to Cars | Digital Trends

the history of abs brakes from airplanes to cars 1971 chrysler imperial 1

Antilock breaking systems (ABS) have been available on every car sold new for more than a century, it just wasn’t always electronic or automatic. Early on, the driver had to perform ABS duties by repeatedly pumping the brake pedal to prevent the wheels from locking up under heavy braking. It took decades – and a detour via the aviation industry – before engineers figured out how to build sensors that could prevent a lock-up of the wheels under braking.

German engineer Karl Wessel received a patent for an automotive brake force regulator in 1928, but he never managed to bring his design to production. While the need to regulate the hydraulic pressure sent to the wheels under heavy braking was obvious, the lack of suitable technology during the late 1920s prevented engineers like Wessel from developing a commercially-viable anti-block system (ABS) for cars. Keeping it cheap would have made it far too complicated; keeping it simple would have made it way too expensive. Motorists continued to skid out of control like hockey pucks while the technology matured.

ABS began appearing on airplanes and on trains, two types of vehicles that badly needed the ability to stop without skidding, during the 1950s. England-based Dunlop played a pioneering role in developing the technology, and named its mechanical ABS system Maxaret. The feature remained expensive, but it was much easier to offset its cost when building an airplane compared to making a car. Airlines were open to the idea of paying more for a Maxaret-equipped model because the feature could help them save money by reducing tire wear, and even help them make more money by letting planes carry more weight.

British automaker Jensen had its finger on the aviation industry’s pulse.  

“As a result of tests, it has been calculated that the allowable operating weight of a particular modern passenger transport fitted with Maxaret could be increased by as much as 15%, a figure representing some eight passengers,” Flight magazine optimistically wrote in 1953.

British automaker Jensen had its finger on the aviation industry’s pulse. Its engineers decided to make a sports car equipped with ABS technology after watching heavy planes fitted with Maxaret safely come to a stop on shockingly short runways. The FF that Jensen introduced in 1966 stood out as the first production car made with ABS, and it even came with permanent four-wheel drive, but it wasn’t a mass-produced model that everyone could enjoy. It was an expensive, low-volume coupe sold only in a handful of markets. Jensen made about 320 examples of the FF through 1970.

The FF used a car-specific evolution of Dunlop’s Maxaret technology. While the Jensen model was never officially sold in the United States, American automakers heard about it and forged partnerships with suppliers to make ABS available on their more expensive cars as quickly as possible. Ford developed a system named Sure-Track with Kelsey-Hayes, and released it halfway through 1969 on the Thunderbird as well as on the Lincoln Continental Mark III. AC Electronics helped General Motors develop Track Master, which was available on the Cadillac Eldorado, and True Track, which Oldsmobile offered on the Vista Cruiser (yes, like Eric Forman’s) and the Toronado. Both systems were introduced in 1970.

the history of abs brakes from airplanes to cars jensen ff 1

The three aforementioned systems acted only on the rear wheels because they were more likely to lock up than the front ones. On the surface, this argument made sense: weight moves to the front of the car under heavy braking, so there is less mass over the rear axle. However, the front wheels – which provide most of the braking force – remained at the mercy of physics. They could still lock when the driver mashed the brake pedal to the metal, which made the car unsteerable, especially on wet or icy roads.

The next breakthrough in ABS technology came not from Mercedes-Benz, as many have claimed, but somewhat surprisingly from Chrysler. The Detroit-based automaker teamed up with Bendix to develop a four-wheel, electronic ABS system named Four-Wheel Sure Brake that’s more closely related to the system fitted to every car, truck, and SUV sold new in 2019.

Chrysler claimed Sure Brake relied on “space age computer” technology to keep a car pointed in the right direction under heavy braking.

Chrysler beamed with pride. It called its Sure Brake anti-skid system “the first computer-operated, four-wheel anti-skid braking system offered on an American car.” It didn’t stop there; it claimed Sure Brake relied on “space-age computer” technology to keep a car pointed in the right direction under heavy braking. The feature became available at an extra cost on the 19-foot long Imperial, Chrysler’s flagship model, for the 1971 model year.

Advancements in the field of electronics made Sure Brake considerably more advanced than Maxaret. The system relied on data provided by a small gear linked to each wheel. Sensors measured the gear’s rotation speed by counting its teeth, and converted that information to electronic pulses it sent to a computer that was a little bit smaller than a shoe box. The computer cut hydraulic pressure when it detected a wheel was about to lock (the wheel slowed down before locking), and sent pressure again a split-second later to continue stopping the car. This cycle had the same effect as pumping the brakes, but it occurred up to four times per second, which was faster than a human could manage.

Sure Brake measured the speed of each wheel independently, so the Imperial could come to a safe stop even if two of its wheels were on ice. Chrysler embedded a blue indicator labeled Sure Brake into the instrument cluster to help drivers understand the system. The indicator lit up when the system was active, and it remained on to indicate a problem. The firm stressed the system was fail-safe, so the enormous Imperial would brake normally if Sure Brake shut down for any reason.

the history of abs brakes from airplanes to cars 1971 chrysler imperial 6

Four-Wheel Sure Brake was hugely innovative, and correspondingly expensive. In 1971, the Chrysler Imperial carried a base price of $6,044 (about $38,000 in 2019). Chrysler charged $351.50 (approximately $2,200 in 2019) for Four-Wheel Sure Brake that same year. To add context, an AM/FM stereo with an eight-track cost $419.70, while tinted windows added $58.45, figures that represent $2,500 and $370, respectively. Engineers experienced the system with near-superstitious awe, but Imperial buyers wanted old-school luxury, not cutting-edge tech, and many refused to pay extra for what they considered a useless, over-complicated gizmo. Chrysler dropped the feature in 1973.

Broadly speaking, motorists didn’t accept the merits of ABS technology until the 1980s. Even then, the systems remained expensive, and it took several more years for it to trickle down into the realm of economy cars. It was common to see cars proudly wearing an ABS emblem on the trunk lid in the 1990s, and rightfully so. Chrysler charged LeBaron buyers $954 (approximately $2,000 in 2019) for four-wheel disc brakes with ABS in 1989. Not everyone could afford to tick a $2,000 box on an order sheet.

“This path is leading up into the development of highly automated driving features.”

On the other hand, Mercedes-Benz made the technology standard on all of its cars, from the entry-level 190 to the mighty S-Class, starting in 1984. This decision represented a surprising amount of foresight. European officials made ABS mandatory on all new cars in 2004. The feature has been required – along with electronic stability control – since 2013 on passenger cars and trucks sold in the United States.

In 2019, every car regardless of market segment, price, or body style is developed with ABS in mind from the get-go. Modern-day ABS systems are considerably more sophisticated than Maxaret or Four-Wheel Sure Brake, but they perform the same basic function. Bosch, the company that helped Mercedes develop and launch its first production-bound ABS system in 1978, explained ABS also serves as the foundation for a long list of electronic driving aids that are either common or required on all new cars.

“We’ve added additional functions, like stability control, adaptive cruise control, and hill hold assist, but everything is still somehow based on ABS technology. Automatic emergency braking needs it, too. The technology also supports the regenerative braking function in hybrid vehicles. This path is leading up into the development of highly automated driving features,” Michael Kunz, Bosch North America’s vice president of engineering safety, told Digital Trends.

Editors' Recommendations Read More



Leave A Comment

More News

Digital Trends

Amazon cuts prices on Google Wi-Fi mesh network New! 2019-07-15 04:15:10Amazon cut prices on Google Wi-Fi mesh wireless network devices for Prime Day 2019. Google Wi-Fi systems mesh network routers are expandable. If you u

Amazon cuts up to 69% off prices of New! 2019-07-15 04:00:46July 15 marks the start of Prime Day 2019. Kicking things off at 12 a.m. PT are these price cuts on Kasa products. Get up to 69% off these smart home

The Eero Pro Wi-Fi system is $200 off New! 2019-07-15 04:00:45Amazon Prime Day is a fine time to upgrade your home Wi-Fi system. Now, Amazon Prime members only can secure an early Prime Day deal on a mesh network

Best Prime Day deals 2019: Walmart, Apple, and New! 2019-07-15 03:57:21The best Amazon Prime Day deals have finally arrived. 4K TVs, Nintendo Switch bundles, iPads, and more are all on sale during this 48-hour stretch. No

Airport hotel builds a full-size flight simulator into New! 2019-07-15 03:55:22Aviation enthusiasts flying out of Tokyo's Haneda Airport, there's a new hotel room designed just for you. It features a full-size Boeing 737-800 fl

Amazon Prime Day drops deal on Razor EcoSmart New! 2019-07-15 03:50:25The Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter is easy to assemble, easy to ride, and has great battery life and a top speed of 18 mph. With a Prime Day 20

Amazon Prime Day sees up to 40% discounts New! 2019-07-15 03:45:50Prime Day 2019 is finally upon us. Amazon is opening this highly anticipated sale with discounts on Sengled smart lighting kits and bulbs. Get up to 4

Best Prime Day Apple deals: iPads, MacBooks, and New! 2019-07-15 03:45:17Prime Day is officially here, and there are still some nice Apple deals to be had during Amazon's big event. We rounded up a few right here, along wi

Prime Day brings deep discounts on Segway Scooters, New! 2019-07-15 03:40:12Segway's nearly decade of experience gives its parent company Ninebot a distinct advantage over its competitors, and it has come out with some pretty

Best Prime Day Apple deals: iPad, MacBook, and New! 2019-07-15 03:36:53Prime Day is officially here, and there are still some nice Apple deals to be had during Amazon's big event. We’ve rounded up iPads, Macbooks,

Amazon slashes prices for LectroFan white noise sound New! 2019-07-15 03:35:29It's a noisy world out there and sometimes masking the noise is the only way you can concentrate, relax, or go to sleep. Amazon slashed the price of

Amazon cuts prices of Sengled Smart LED Starter New! 2019-07-15 03:30:56Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here. One of the first dishes being served is these Sengled Smart LED Started Kit deals. You can get a 33% discount on the fo

Engadget RSS Feed

Lawmakers want to block tech giants from offering New! 2019-07-15 13:46:00It's been one month since Facebook (and its partners) announced plans to launch Libra cryptocurrency. Already, US lawmakers are calling for Facebook

Sony Xperia 1 review: Powerful, but not sensible New! 2019-07-15 13:30:00 I don't love admitting this, but it can be hard to take Sony's phones seriously sometimes. That's not because of a lack of effort on its part &

Facebook won't make Libra available until regulators are New! 2019-07-15 13:14:00Facebook is determined to reassure officials that its Libra cryptocurrency is above-board. As part of prepared testimony for a July 16th Senate heari

Twitter’s faster, redesigned site starts rolling out to New! 2019-07-15 13:00:00It took quite some time, but the new Twitter.com is finally here. Months after teasing parts of it, Twitter has announced that it is now rolling out i

Scotland generated enough wind energy to power its New! 2019-07-15 12:42:00It's no secret Scotland has a lot of wind farms, but it's now clear just how much electricity those turbines can produce. Data from WeatherEnergy sh

How to make the most of that Instant New! 2019-07-15 12:30:00Few kitchen appliances have reached the same cult status as the Instant Pot. With 1.9 million members on the official Instant Pot Facebook group, more

Microsoft blocks May 2019 Windows update on the New! 2019-07-15 12:17:00Microsoft has blocked the latest major Windows 10 (May 2019, version 1903) update on its own Surface Book 2. According to the company, a compatibility

GameStop hopes renovations will keep its retail stores New! 2019-07-15 11:53:00GameStop thinks it has a way to keep its stores relevant as downloads take hold: revamp the stores themselves. The chain has unveiled a team-up with

Kickstarter has fewer video game projects, and that's New! 2019-07-15 11:42:00Video game projects may have found their stride in the crowdfunding world. According to ICO Partners, fewer games are being pitched on Kickstarter, bu

The best gear for your backyard party New! 2019-07-15 11:30:00Ah yes, sweet summertime. The few months of the year when your time is best spent outside, and that means time in the backyard, if you're blessed wit

8BitDo's latest controller has fully customizable buttons New! 2019-07-15 11:00:00The latest controller from the minds of 8BitDo is fully customizable, allowing you to adjust button configurations and sensitivity levels for the joys

Senators ask FTC to investigate how social networks New! 2019-07-15 10:29:00Republican politicians are taking their allegations of tech industry bias to regulators. Senators Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley have sent a letter to the

WIRED

Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Which Is Best 2019-07-14 07:00:00Brush up on what games the Switch Lite can and can't play, what accessories you'll need for it, and what its real price is.

Prime Day 2019: What You Should Know About 2019-07-13 08:00:00Ahead of Amazon’s official shopping holiday, we pulled together the best of our shopping tips and stories. Learn how star ratings work and how t

Best Amazon Echo and Alexa Speakers: Which Models 2019-07-13 08:00:00Should you get the Echo Dot or the Echo Show Five? Here are our favorite Alexa speakers from Amazon and its partners.

Gadget Lab Podcast: Facebook's Libra and the Future 2019-07-12 21:08:54On this episode of Gadget Lab, WIRED writer Greg Barber explains the intricacies of Facebook’s ambitious plan to and how Libra is poised to ratt

Logitech G Pro X Review: A Classy Gaming 2019-07-12 08:00:00With professional build quality and robust sound, the G Pro X headset runs circles around many 3.5mm gaming headsets, especially on PC and Mac.

Boosted Rev Review: It Makes Scootering Less Silly 2019-07-11 09:00:00The electric mobility company proves that scooters aren’t just for kids and tourists.

The Best Amazon Fire Tablets: Which Model Should 2019-07-11 08:00:00Do you need a tablet for around the house? For your kids? Should you buy the Fire HD 8, the Fire HD 10, or another model? We've got the answers.

AI's Latest Job? Designing Cool T-Shirts 2019-07-11 07:00:00That attractive design on your T-shirt wasn't made by some hipster artist. It was produced by a neural network.

Google and Nest Device Deals: Early Prime Day 2019-07-11 07:00:00To combat Amazon's Prime Day, Google is discounting its best devices.

Nintendo Switch Lite: Release Date, Price, Specs 2019-07-10 12:14:39The new version of the hit handheld console is $100 cheaper and more portable, but it strips out some of the Switch's trademark features.

The Best Xbox One Console Bundles and Deals 2019-07-10 08:00:00Deals on the Xbox One X and Xbox One S consoles, along with some games and accessories you'll want.

Best MacBooks for 2019: Which Model Should You 2019-07-10 07:00:00It's never been harder to buy the right Apple laptop. Should you get a MacBook Pro? A MacBook Air? What about the Touch Bar? Let us help you.

Ars Technica » Gear

The Snapdragon 855 is getting an upgrade to New! 2019-07-15 10:56:00Devices ship soon, starting with the Asus ROG Phone 2 later this month.

Dealmaster: All the best Amazon Prime Day 2019 New! 2019-07-15 07:50:40No, it's not all garbage. Here are the Prime Day tech deals we actually like.

Dealmaster: Amazon discounts almost its entire product lineup 2019-07-14 15:41:18Save big on Echo speakers, Fire TV Sticks, Kindles, and more.

OurPact returns to App Store, reviving debates about 2019-07-12 18:15:54What OurPact's return means for similar apps, iOS security, and antitrust cases against Apple.

Teardowns and benchmarks: All the details about Apple’s 2019-07-12 14:30:33Even faster performance comes with a lower repairability rating.

The latest barrier to 5G speeds? The summer 2019-07-12 14:08:16Hands-on report says "persistent overheating" issues plague 5G hardware.

Amazon Music Unlimited is growing faster than Apple 2019-07-12 07:30:29Amazon still has a long way to go to catch up with Apple or Spotify, though.

Microsoft Teams is now officially bigger than Slack 2019-07-11 18:35:18It's the first official milestone for Microsoft's group chat, and it's a big one.

Google workers listen to your “OK Google” queries—one 2019-07-11 15:31:04News service identified Google users by listening to 1,000 leaked recordings.

DeepMind AI is secretly lurking on the public 2019-07-11 13:51:33European players who opt-in have a chance to match up against AlphaStar.

Official Galaxy Note 10 images leak, show off 2019-07-11 10:24:00It's big. It's rectangular. It probably doesn't have a headphone jack.

Third parties confirm AMD’s outstanding Ryzen 3000 numbers 2019-07-10 14:30:46AMD has pulled ahead of Intel for the first time in 20 years.

TechCrunch » Gadgets

Nintendo Switch Lite’s trade-off of whimsy for practicality 2019-07-10 09:26:34Nintendo today revealed a new Switch Lite version of its current-generation console, which attaches the controllers permanently, shrinks the hardware

Nintendo announces a handheld Nintendo Switch Lite for 2019-07-10 08:33:32Nintendo has unveiled a new Nintendo Switch called the Nintendo Switch Lite. As the name suggests, this console is a bit cheaper than the original Nin

YouTube lands on Fire TV and Amazon Prime 2019-07-09 15:47:13It’s nice when people can come together and work through their differences to make it easier to watch stuff. That’s exactly what happened

The Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t work with all 2019-07-09 12:36:15The Raspberry Pi 4 is a great little beast, but Tyler Ward identified a flaw in the USB Type-C connector. The Raspberry Pi Foundation confirmed to Tec

Apple stops selling the 12-inch MacBook, a computer 2019-07-09 10:14:16Apple officially stopped selling the 12-inch MacBook today, a computer that hasn’t had an update since June 2017 and that is also maybe one of t

Mario creator Miyamoto counters cloud gaming hype (but 2019-07-05 20:20:53Cloud gaming — however a company chooses to define that — is shaping up to be a big part of the next generation of consoles and other plat

This drone swarm spray painted a jumbo-size graffiti 2019-07-05 17:30:35It's Friday, so why not watch some good old-fashioned drone-powered graffiti? A design firm in Italy has put together a lovely little show that colle

Watch a plane land itself truly autonomously for 2019-07-05 15:09:23A team of German researchers have created an automatic landing system for small aircraft that lets them touch down not only without a pilot, but witho

This solar array expands itself at the right 2019-07-04 13:21:54Wouldn't it be nice to have a solar panel that's only there when the sun shines on it? That's the idea behind this research project, which uses sha

Twelve South’s HiRise Wireless is a super versatile 2019-07-04 12:15:48Wireless charging has been a wonderful addition to mainstream flagship smartphones, including the iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy lineup and Google&rsq

Apple reportedly shifting to new keyboard design in 2019-07-04 10:41:35Apple is set to replace the technology underlying the keyboards found in its MacBook Air and MacBook Pro computers, according to a new report from App

GPS on the Moon? NASA’s working on it 2019-07-03 15:23:06If you're driving your car from Portland to Merced, you probably rely on GPS to see where you are. But what if you're driving your Moon rover from O

Geeky Gadgets

Save 97% on the Complete Google Go Developer 2019-07-08 11:36:52 We have an awesome deal on the Complete Google Go Developer Master Class Bundle in the Geeky Gadgets Deals store today, you can save 97% off the norm

VW Type 20 Concept is an EV Microbus 2019-07-08 10:41:53 One of the coolest vehicles that VW has ever made in the States is the classic Microbus. VW has a new concept car that is called the VW Type 20 and i

Warframe Empyrean expansion brings new co-op missions and 2019-07-08 10:15:54 Thanks to the TennoCon 2019 presentation this week more details have been made available for the Warframe Empyrean expansion which will bring with it

2019 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 tablet gets 2019-07-08 10:01:16 The 2019 Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 is now official and we have all the details on the latest Android tablet from Samsung. The device comes with a an 8

LYRA Handheld games console launches on Kickstarter 2019-07-08 09:50:05 LYRA the previously announced handheld games console powered by a Raspberry Pi CM3L (Compute Module 3 Lite) has today launched via Kickstarter and is

Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT and RX 5700 2019-07-08 09:43:25 Hardware manufacturer Sapphire has unveiled their new Radeon RX 5700 Series graphics cards powered by RDNA architecture, are designed from the ground

Disney Mulan 2020 live action movie teaser trailer 2019-07-08 09:35:11 Disney has this week released a new teaser trailer for its upcoming new live-action movie Mulan which will be premiering in theatre screens worldwide

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey final story DLC lands July 2019-07-08 09:14:57 Ubisoft will be releasing the final story DLC for its awesome Assassin’s Creed Odyssey just under a week’s time, bringing to an end the d

Vodafone launches three new unlimited data plans 2019-07-08 09:05:18   Vodafone has announced that it is launching three new unlimited data plans in the UK from the 10th of July. These new plans will be available

VFD Clock III vacuum fluorescent display 2019-07-08 08:59:52 Electronics enthusiasts Howard Constantine has returned to Kickstarter for the 21st time to launch his latest campaign the VFD Clock III, specificall

Radiator laser synthesizer 2019-07-08 08:43:36 Neon Captain has created a new laser synthesizer called the Radiator which has launched via Kickstarter this month and is now available to back with

Middara Unintentional Malum complete trilogy passes $2 million 2019-07-08 08:19:31 If you are searching for an epic massive fully cooperative fantasy board game for one to 4 players you may be interested to know that the Middara: Un

NDTV Gadgets - Latest

Partial Lunar Eclipse 2019: Everything You Need To New! 2019-07-15 09:55:47Lunar Eclipse 2019: Get Ready to witness the partial lunar eclipse happening on July 16 and July 17? Here are all the details you need to know about t

Hotstar Breaks Record With 25.3 Million Concurrent Viewers New! 2019-07-15 09:42:51Hotstar has made a new world record after 25.3 simultaneous viewers watched India vs New Zealand semi-final match during the ICC Cricket World Cup 201

Blaupunkt Launches 55-Inch 4K QLED Smart TV With New! 2019-07-15 09:34:48Blaupunkt has launched its new 4K QLED Smart TV in India. It is available for purchase at a best buy price of Rs. 64,999 via Amazon.

Prime Day 2019: Here's the Best Deals on New! 2019-07-15 09:28:48Amazon is offering deals and discounts on the Mi TV 4C Pro, Sony Bravia, Samsung Series 4, and other TV models during its Prime Day 2019 sale in India

Huawei's Latest Smartwatch in India Offers Two-Weeks Battery New! 2019-07-15 09:21:52Huawei has announced the availability of its Watch GT Active in India starting today. The smartwatch will be available exclusively on Flipkart in Indi

Snapchat Hopes to Take on Netflix, YouTube With New! 2019-07-15 09:08:11Snapchat is testing a new feature to let users binge-watch original content on its app.

Facebook's VR Dream May Never Take Off, Oculus New! 2019-07-15 08:55:56Oculus may not be profitable as Facebook is struggling to bring VR to the mainstream consumer market, says Jack McCauley, one of the co-founders of Oc

How HONOR Is Taking Smartphone Photography to the New! 2019-07-15 08:54:23HONOR has been at the forefront of innovation in smartphone cameras for quite some time now, and continues to introduce new features with every new sm

Xiaomi Picks Up Stake in Chip Designer VeriSilicon New! 2019-07-15 08:50:26Xiaomi has taken a stake of roughly 6 percent in compatriot chip designer VeriSilicon Holdings, as the smartphone maker revamps its years-long pursuit

Bitcoin Drops More Than 10 Percent as Scrutiny New! 2019-07-15 08:50:08Bitcoin slumped more than 10 percent over the weekend to a two-week low as fears of a crackdown of cryptocurrencies grew on mounting scrutiny of Faceb

LG Launches 55-inch, 43-inch 4K LED Smart TVs New! 2019-07-15 08:41:47LG has launched a pair of new 4K LED smart TVs in India that are now available to purchase in 43-inch and 55-inch variants from Amazon.

Honor 9X and Honor 9X Pro Teased, Full New! 2019-07-15 08:22:46Honor is all set to launch its new 9X series smartphones, Honor 9X and 9X Pro on July 23, the media reported.


Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not responsible of these news or any information published on this website.