The ‘Anti-lock Braking System’, better known as ABS or anti-lock braking system (for its translation from English to Spanish) was one of the great advances for drivers. Leaving aside the professionals of the motor world, there are those who continue to believe that they can work better than this technology. This video proves the opposite: not even the best braking threshold technique could beat ABS.
Channel’s Jason Fenske ‘Engineering Explained’ of YouTube analyzes the science behind of ABS and what makes it so effective. His detailed explanation points out the differences between this system and threshold braking to show why the best of techniques can never outperform technology.
ABS vs braking threshold
ABS first came to cars in 1978 to make things easier for drivers. This system prevent car wheels from locking when incorrect pressure is exerted on the brake pedal. Thanks to it, the braking maneuver is faster than with any technique: especially in complicated scenarios in which the asphalt is slippery, it is wet…
The ‘Engineering Explained’ video explains that both the ABS and the braking threshold are intended to stop a vehicle as quickly as possible, avoiding wheel lock. The first is a system that automatically adjusts the pressure that the brakes apply to the wheels until it detects the loss of grip: at that moment it releases the brake to recover it and press the brake again. Its intervention makes it possible to reduce the braking distance and, above all, helps the driver not to lose control
The braking threshold, For its part, it is a technique with which the driver learns to find the maximum point of braking pressure without the wheels losing grip… or locking up.
The driver in front of the machine
‘Engineering Explained’ tells that the ABS takes the same time to carry out this whole process (several times) than a driver to detect that a wheel has locked, react and correct it. This is where the reason is that even the best braking threshold technique could not beat this system: the reaction time of a human cannot compete with that of a machine. And not only that: the ABS does its job on each wheel of the vehicle.
That is why we can even see (from time to time) formula 1 drivers lock their wheels when braking… and we’re talking about some of the best drivers in the world.