ABS and EBD - What it is and how it works | The Financial Express

ABS and EBD – What it is and how it works

ABS and EBD are much-heard-about terms, but what do they mean? We explain what ABS and EBD are, and how they work.

ABS and EBD - What it is and how it works
EBD or Electronic Brake Distribution is the extension of the ABS or Anti-lock Braking System. It helps the user keep a check on the vehicle's speed and acceleration the wheels. (Image courtesy: Continental)

Many a time, we come across acronyms such as ABS and EBD, especially when looking at vehicles, or at times, at the dealership when servicing the car. Some just brush it away thinking it does not matter, while others have a rough understanding. Also, when we read that “the government has mandated ABS in cars”, you suddenly ponder what this is about. We explain.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

The Anti-lock Braking System, or ABS as it’s commonly termed is a common feature found on cars, motorcycles, scooters, trucks, and buses. This safety feature does not allow the wheels to lock up when braking hard, thus allowing a vehicle to come to a stop or swerve away from an object in a safe manner.

How does it work?

An ABS uses sensors on the wheels to monitor speed and constantly relays this information to the car’s Electronic Control Unit or the ECU as it’s commonly called. When the ECU detects hard braking from the sensors, the ABS unit applies and releases the brake in rapid succession (pulsating), keeping the wheels from locking up, and giving more control to the driver to steer away or stop safely.

All the driver needs to do is apply the brake and keep pressure, the ABS takes care of the rest. When ABS is in motion, the driver feels the brake pedal pulsating under their legs, which is completely normal. While ABS is good in most conditions, it does reduce the stopping distance in certain scenarios, however, these are negligible.

Types of ABS

Over the years, ABS has had many versions, including manual mechanisms. Today, it is purely electronically controlled and vehicles allow users to even switch off this feature depending on the usage. Motorcycles for example have switchable ABS that can be turned off for off-road usage and also have modes to control how soon the ABS intervenes.

Also, two-wheelers get something known as Cornering ABS that helps further optimise the pressure on the brakes when they are leaned over. This helps the bike straighten up before more pressure on the brakes is applied.

Similar to how the ABS works, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) uses sensors in the wheel to constantly monitor the speed. (Image Courtesy: Continental)

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution or EBD as its commonly called, is a feature that comes either as a stand-alone option or combined with ABS. Apart from two-wheelers, it is now a common safety feature on all other vehicles and comes combined with ABS.

How does EBD work?

Similar to how the ABS works, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) uses sensors in the wheel to constantly monitor the speed. When the brake is applied, it distributes the braking force to individual wheels depending on their speed, thus helping the vehicle be in control.

EBD calculates the speed of the wheels, the car’s speed in relation to the speed of the wheels, engine rpm, road conditions, load in the vehicle and other parameters. The EBD system calculates all this to apply optimum braking balance, helping the driver keep the car under control.

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First published on: 31-12-2022 at 15:44 IST