Since time immemorial, the braking system has been an integral part of the automobile and transportation in general. Just as man’s quest for speed became more intense, so did the need for better stopping power. Because while we could go a million miles an hour, we had to find a way to control all that speed—lest we get killed in the process.
From the mechanical drum brakes, to the hydraulic brakes, and the disc brakes of modern vehicles, the braking system has definitely come a long way. And just as the automotive industry enters the “electric age”, it looks like the brakes may just go in the same direction.
According to a report by Car and Driver, Brembo, a leading maker of high-performance braking systems, is working on electric brakes using brake-by-wire technology. The new system is set to revolutionize the way we stop our cars in the near future. Just as cars will soon be powered by electric motors and utilize all sorts of “by-wire” systems like steering and throttle, manufacturers could use the same approach when stopping a vehicle.
As many enthusiasts know, brake-by-wire is nothing new. It has long been used in Formula 1—the pinnacle of motorsport. Thanks to all the developments in the industry, the tech may soon trickle down to our road cars.
And why not? With this type of tech, manufacturers can easily customize parameters like brake feel, brake force, and the like—thanks to electric signals. These very same signals likewise travel much faster than any hydraulic setup, thus increasing safety. And vehicle architecture would be significantly simplified.
But as mentioned above, Brembo is still hard at work developing and ensuring that this will be a viable way of stopping our cars. So as good as it sounds, it may still be a few years away. But this just goes to show that even as they are hard at work making sure that you stop safely, the wheels of braking system evolution never stop turning.