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Auto Gyaan: Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) explained

Thanks to the increasing awareness about car safety in India, ‘ABS’ or Anti-lock Braking System isn’t a new word for people anymore. After front airbags, ABS is the second thing that is always considered every time the safety features of a vehicle is discussed. So why is ABS so important and what different does it make? Let’s find out.

As the name suggests, Anti-Lock Brake System is an electrically controlled system that prevents the wheels to get locked when brake is applied. Okay, let’s make it simple: Imagine you’re driving a car at the speed of over 100 kmph and suddenly you see a cow trying to cross the road without caring about you (Indian roads!), as an obvious and correct response, you will hit the brakes as hard as you can.

But remember, brakes stops the wheels from rotating, they do not stop the car’s body from moving. In simple words, when you apply the brakes with large force, after a certain point, the wheels will get locked because of the brakeforce and stop rotating but the car will keep moving because of the momentum it has. It means that your car will start sliding on the road and you’ll loose the control right away. In such case, the car can get off the road or hit other vehicles or even flip over!


Now in the same case, if your car is equipped with the ABS, when you apply the brakes and the brakeforce hit the point of getting the wheels locked, the sensors in each wheel detects it and releases braking pressure for a moment. Once the brakeforce goes below the limit, it is applied again on the wheel. This process happens automatically and gets repeated multiple times in a second.

Now, since the wheels aren’t locking themselves up, there’s no fear of skidding of the car so now you can apply the brake and turn the direction of the vehicle at the same time without loosing the control. ABS is mostly supported by the Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) that electronically measures pressure on each wheel and accordingly distribute the applied brakeforce to all four wheel for stable braking.

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