Cars are becoming safer and safer thanks to the numerous technology advancements that are being introduced. anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic stability program (ESP) and traction control (TC) are almost standard in new cars. While the operation of these systems might not be noticeable by drivers, they nevertheless play an important role during emergencies.
I consider myself a very safe driver. I’m easy on the throttle, I don’t do sudden braking and I don’t drive fast during rainy days. Even with the absence of ABS, ESP, and TC on my car, I have never been in a situation where I cannot control my car properly. But however safe a driver can be, no one can foresee an emergency situation. And during those times, reaction speed is very crucial. During those times, even a trained driver may not be able to properly control the car. That’s why we need help from these systems.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS):
ABS senses the speed of the wheel using a wheel sensor. This sensor tells the computer how fast the wheel is spinning and the computer calculates if the wheel is going to lock up or not.
ABS is probably the earliest form of driver assist. ABS prevents the wheel from locking up under hard braking. It does this by sensing the speed of the wheel and releases brake pressure when it detects the locking of the wheel. Locking up the wheel will induce skidding and will cause the car to be uncontrollable, not to mention increasing the distance the car needs to travel to come to a complete stop. ABS is almost standard in new cars. The operation of ABS can sometimes be felt by the pulsating of the brake pedal.
Traction control (TC):
Without traction control, you might spin your tires under hard acceleration.
Traction control is important on slippery surfaces. Traction control can also prevent the wheels from spinning when a lot of throttle is applied. Traction control works by reducing engine power when it detects a wheel slipping due to lack of traction. This prevents slipping and improves handling on slippery roads. The lack of traction control on powerful cars may cause the car to be undrivable.
Electronic Stability Program (ESP):
The basics of ESP.
ESP is an advanced system that maintains the stability of the car during emergency maneuvers. It prevents understeering and oversteering by applying brakes to individual wheels. It keeps the car traveling at the direction the driver wants it to. The system gets the required information from sensors detecting the movement of the car and the intended direction of the driver.
Demonstration of ABS, TC and ESP by Fifth Gear.
With these systems becoming more and more common, accidents will no doubt be reduced as drivers are able to be in control of their vehicle even in an emergency situation. That being said, even the most advanced driver aid will not prevent accidents if drivers do not practice safe driving styles. Remember, safety on the road starts with you. Continue reading