Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are extremely common in today’s vehicles. Almost all new cars and trucks have ABS installed because it is considered one of the most important safety features for passenger vehicles in the modern age.
However, ABS hasn’t always been around, meaning drivers of the past had to manage without it, or with prior versions of ABS. Looking back at the history of ABS, we can understand how much work it took to produce such a highly-regarded feature and how much safer driving is now thanks to the technology.
What is ABS?
ABS prevents your wheels from seizing and maintains grip on the road to prevent you from skidding and sliding if you slam on the brakes. A computer-controlled sensor on each wheel runs the ABS and applies a sort of pulsing brake pressure to your tires. This means they release the brake just slightly if the system detects that the tire is about to seize, then apply the brake again. It will release and apply the brakes repeatedly until you lift off the brake. This system ultimately gives you more control over your vehicle in the event of a crash or near-collision.
Because ABS is so important, drivers should be wary about faulty brakes and make sure to have their brakes inspected regularly. If you believe your ABS is working but the system is actually malfunctioning, you could find yourself in some trouble. Take you car in for brake repair in Phoenix if you believe your ABS needs servicing.
How ABS evolved
ABS found its roots not in the automotive industry, but in the aircraft industry in the 1920s. Engineers of airplanes were searching for a system that would prevent aircraft wheels from skidding on the ground.
The next major application of ABS was on motorcycle brakes, which greatly needed an anti-skid system to prevent collisions and injury for riders.
It wasn’t until the 1960s that the automotive industry truly embraced ABS… to some extent. Some vehicle manufacturers attempted to implement a rudimentary form of ABS, but the systems didn’t truly take off until the 1970s due to cost-effectiveness. ABS was too costly to produce on a large number of cars, so this put a hold on widespread adoption for a time.
Because of these costs, ABS was initially considered a premium feature that was added to cars by manufacturers, not a standard safety system on all vehicles like it is today. During this time, manufacturers both in America and overseas were hard at work attempting to perfect the technology. One of the first successful applications of ABS was by Mercedes-Benz. Chrysler, Ford and GM followed suit.
Over time, ABS got more technologically advanced and much more cost-effective. This allowed vehicle manufacturers to begin implementing the technology on more cars, and allowed many more auto buyers to reap the benefits of the safety feature.
Today, ABS is mandated on all passenger vehicles thanks to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Don’t let your ABS go unchecked
If you suspect something is wrong with your anti-lock braking system, visit S & J Auto Repair & Rental. Our full-service auto shop can do just about anything for your car, from oil changes to air conditioning repair to brake repair in Phoenix. Call us today!