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What is Brake-By-Wire and Why It Might Be In Your Next Vehicle

| August 12, 2018


We may all be stopping like pros soon.

Here’s what’s up: When a Formula 1 driver hits the brakes, they are sending a signal for the computer to interpret, and it’s the computer that determines how much pressure to apply to the rear brake calipers.

This technology is known as “brake-by-wire,” because it cuts the physical link between the pedal and the brake system itself.

Sensors and actuators read the amount of pressure a driver inputs, and this force is transferred to all the brakes from the master cylinder using hydraulic fluid.

Formula 1 has used the tech since 2014 for the rear brakes and Luxury carmakers have been experimenting with it.

Soon, brake-by-wire might be making its way to your next vehicle.

Toyota has been implementing brake-by-wire on hybrid vehicles in its Lexus brand for years now.

The newest player is Alfa Romeo, which is getting into the game with its Giulia and Stelvio.

Brake-by-wire systems stop sooner—and not just because the computer is faster than you. Alfa uses a massive brake booster that builds up pressure faster than a conventional booster does. This translates into shorter stopping distances in an emergency brake application.

Resistance and fear from drivers has been the major stumbling block to the creep of by-wire technologies into consumer cars. But they’re coming.

Brakes are still the most vital safety component on a car, so relying on an electric signal to make them function doesn’t necessarily instill trust in buyers. Thankfully, there are traditional hydraulic backup systems for all the brake-by-wire systems offered today.

Category: Breaks, Suspensions & Chassis, General Update, News

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