What is it about the Netherlands that makes the country such a magic elixir for technological advancement? According to the Global Innovation Index it ranks number 2, just below Switzerland. The United States only ranks 6. Who knew? Whatever they put in the water obviously inspires.
- Dutch company Chassis Brakes International demonstrates its Smart Brake system to automotive engineers
- A fluid-free system, Smart Brake holds the potential to improve fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
- Supposedly, the new system can stop the car in shorter distances with undisclosed innovative control strategies.
Just this past week, the Lightyear One, the first long range solar vehicle, just had its out coming out party there. And, also headquartered in the Dutch country, Chassis Brakes International previewed a new fluid-free brake system.
Traditional fluid-based braking system
So, what’s the advantage of a fluid-free braking system? As you probably know from owning a car, the majority of brake systems work with brake fluid. The Chassis brake-by-wire Smart Brake system takes the liquid out of the equation, replacing it with electronic controls. This electronic system reduces the parts count and thus the complexity of the design. Also, with less parts to break down, it’s more reliable and less costly to maintain.
Dr. Thomas Wuensche, the global CEO of Chassis Brakes, also notes the lightweight system reduces residual drag, improving fuel economy and the amount of CO2 emissions spewed from the exhaust. On the safety side, Wuensche said the Smart Brakes could improve stopping distances through innovative control strategies. He didn’t specify what those were, which is a significant omission. Don’t you think knowing how that works would be more convincing than a general statement?
With a single-actuator design, the Smart Brake combines service braking and parking at all four wheels. Chassis Brakes bills it as the foundation for future-autonomous-vehicle brake systems.
The “hands-on” test sessions in Sweden allowed 10 individual customer teams the opportunity check out the Smart Brake’s braking abilities on four wheels, including anti-lock braking and traction control, as well as integrated parking brake capabilities. I’m interested to see the engineers’ thoughts and reviews of the system to know if it lives up to Chassis’s claims. Since Chassis Brakes International has over 90 years of experience in braking systems, I’m thinking the claims are true. Now if they’d just explain what its innovation control strategy is.