Rarely do we get a chance to really dig into new braking systems, as the modern hydraulic system has very little room left for improvement. Typically what we run into is cars simply adding more pistons to the caliper, like the 6-pot units found on the Lamborghini Aventador , or larger rotors to help disperse some heat.
Industry front-runner, TRW, is finally getting closer to releasing an all-new braking system that should render the aging hydraulic system obsolete. This Integrated Brake Control (IBC) system will eliminate the need for a master cylinder, brake booster, valves, electronic stability control, and all of the related wires, hoses, and pipes, to replace it with a single unit that does it all.
The IBC uses a brushless electric motor to activate and deactivate the brakes in accordance to the driver’s input. This system can also use the vehicle’s computer system to activate and deactivate the braking system, so it will also help streamline the self-driving cars that are right over the horizon. In order to keep the natural feel of the current hydraulic brake systems, TRW is planning to fit a secondary hydraulic system that accepts the driver’s input.
According to TRW’s research, this system gives “remarkable braking performance and ESC capability.” It is also capable of placing one g of decelerating force on a car in just 150 milliseconds – yeah, that’s fast.
Not only will this system translate into better braking performance and integrate ESC and braking into one clean unit, but it is also good for a 3 kg (6.6 lbs) in weight savings. That may not seem like much on the surface, but in the market as it is today with supercars heading into exotic metals just to save 100 lbs over their competitors, a 6.6-pound savings in the braking system is a huge deal.
According to the presser, this system should be ready and in vehicles by the 2016 model year. We are willing to bet that it makes it into only high-end racing cars first and street cars will follow suit after successful testing in several racing series.
Click past the jump to read TRW’s full press release.
TRW’s integrated brake control system gains heightened customer interest
LOCKE TOWNSHIP, Mich., Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. (NYSE: TRW) is demonstrating its latest innovation in braking – the Integrated Brake Control (IBC) system - at a customer event in Locke Township today. TRW’s IBC is a vacuum independent technology which can simplify the brake system while enhancing performance.
Josef Pickenhahn, vice president, Braking Engineering commented: "Since we introduced this technology over a year ago, we’ve received significant interest from customers and now have development contracts running with major European vehicle manufacturers.
"The system offers excellent braking performance that will make a considerable difference, for example, when combined with future driver assist systems, such as radar and camera, to enable features such as Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB). With these functions becoming more important – in particular with tougher Euro NCAP requirements for 5 star ratings and increased requirements for ’Top Safety Picks’ in the U.S. - we believe that our IBC will be the braking solution of choice for the future."
The IBC replaces – in a single integrated unit – the electronic stability control (ESC) system along with the vacuum booster and the associated cables, sensors, switches, electronic controllers, and vacuum pumps where they are required for low-or no-vacuum configurations.
At the heart of the system is an actuator that is driven by an extremely fast-acting brushless electric motor. This is monitored by a rotary encoder that provides the control ECU with data on revolutions turned, rotational speed and position. Also integrated into the system is a separate hydraulic circuit designed to communicate the driver’s braking intent to the system via an electronic signal while retaining the traditional feel of a hydraulically operated brake.
Pickenhahn continued: "The brushless electric motor gives the system its remarkable braking performance and ESC capability. This provides an exceptionally fast pressure rise rate which translates into a one g vehicle deceleration in less than 150 milliseconds."
IBC also offers considerable packaging and weight savings compared with current ESC systems – weighing just under 4kg in contrast with 7 kg for a conventional component set. It is planned that TRW’s IBC will be ready for production for 2016 model year applications.