The Future of Brake Technology
German OEM supplier Siemens is developing new braking technology called electronic wedge brake.
This can dramatically reduce stopping distances of vehicles compared to hydraulic brake
systems. Foundations originate from German Aviation and Aerospace Center applications. We have seen
increased technology of braking through the use of carbon compounds and electronic application of the
auxiliary brakes. These attempts fall far short of the new electronic wedge brake.
During the braking operation, a brake pad attached to a wedge is pressed between the brake caliper
and the brake disc. As the wheel turns the wedge effect is automatically increased. This allows any level
of braking power with a minimal effort. It is reported to require only one tenth of the energy that
hydraulic brakes require. The whole system is flyby wire and runs on 12V.
The best part is the faster the vehicle is going, the better the brake performance. A series of electric
motors release pressure while a torque sensor controls the braking force and keeps the wheels from
locking up. The wedge brake equipped vehicles regularly required ½ the distance to stop than vehicles
with hydraulic brakes. The brake system has less moving parts, weighs less and can be used for the
parking brake system. The absence of brake fluid reduces the vehicles environmental impact.
Coming soon to a showroom near you!
Written by Ken Kasten