Computerised braking system could lead to a major improvement in truck safety

June 3, 2015, University of Cambridge
Credit: Highways Agency

A computerised braking system in development at the Department of Engineering could lead to a major improvement in lorry safety.

Professor David Cebon and his team of researchers in the Applied Mechanics Group have been working on a system that improves on standard anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to reduce stopping distance and enhance driver control for heavy-goods vehicles (HGVs).

On roads with slick or icy conditions, the ability to can mean the difference between a safe stop and a traffic statistic. Reducing skidding is key. Road slipperiness, the lorry's velocity and several other factors are measured and analysed by a computer which then controls novel high-speed pneumatic valves developed by the researchers. Compared to ABS, the new slip-control system stops 20 per cent shorter, uses half the amount of compressed air and allows the driver to maintain directional control while stopping – even on an icy surface.

"By completely re-thinking the brake hardware and software, we have been able to get the lorry to brake in almost the theoretically minimum stopping distance," Professor Cebon said.

The team works closely with a group of companies in the Cambridge Vehicle Dynamics Consortium, which includes Volvo Trucks and Haldex Brake Products. It is hoped that these companies will develop a commercial version of the within the next few years.

Explore further: Honda to introduce world's first predictive safety cruise control system

Related Stories

Safer vehicles brake and steer out of harm's way

January 9, 2014

Scientists at Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden, are working with a team at car manufacturer Volvo to develop a vehicle control system that can take over steering and breaking when it detects an imminent collision. ...

New technology gives truck drivers all-around visibility

October 7, 2014

Volvo Trucks has developed new technology specifically to protect pedestrians and cyclists. The unique technology enables a vehicle to do a 360 degree scan of everything that happens around it. Much like a human mind works, ...

'Virtual bumpers' can help avoid crashes

September 19, 2012

Three new Cadillac models, including the ATS sport sedan, have a new advanced safety system that can automatically stop the vehicle in low-speed conditions to help avoid crashes. 

Recommended for you

In colliding galaxies, a pipsqueak shines bright

February 20, 2019

In the nearby Whirlpool galaxy and its companion galaxy, M51b, two supermassive black holes heat up and devour surrounding material. These two monsters should be the most luminous X-ray sources in sight, but a new study using ...

Research reveals why the zebra got its stripes

February 20, 2019

Why do zebras have stripes? A study published in PLOS ONE today takes us another step closer to answering this puzzling question and to understanding how stripes actually work.

When does one of the central ideas in economics work?

February 20, 2019

The concept of equilibrium is one of the most central ideas in economics. It is one of the core assumptions in the vast majority of economic models, including models used by policymakers on issues ranging from monetary policy ...

Correlated nucleons may solve 35-year-old mystery

February 20, 2019

A careful re-analysis of data taken at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has revealed a possible link between correlated protons and neutrons in the nucleus and a 35-year-old mystery. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.