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Brake assist systems, more commonly marketed as emergency brake assist are an important safety feature that is found on several cars today. The terminology is commonly used to showcase the safety prowess of a particular vehicle. But what is Brake Assist, and how safe does it make your car? We explain.
Brakes are becoming more powerful and stopping distances of vehicles are reducing with every passing day. This however, is not just because of the improved mechanical parts, but because of clever technological aids like brake assist.
Most cars on sale today come with ABS as standard and this by itself makes emergency braking easier and safer. Brake assist builds up on the ABS technology and utilises the ABS unit and sensors to maximise braking force.
How Does Brake Assist Work?
In simple terms, brake assist is a smarter version of ABS. For brake assist to work, the vehicle should have been equipped with ABS as standard. The brake assist software adds a smart touch to ABS as it is able to sense panic braking.
It then presumes that the situation is an emergency and provides the maximum braking force that is available at that moment. Brake assist usually comes into play when the vehicle is at speed and the driver stomps on the brake pedal suddenly.
What Is The Difference Between ABS And Brake Assist?
ABS and Brake Assist are not a world apart from each other. In fact, brake assist is dependant on the ABS unit and ABS sensors for its functioning and both work together to reduce stopping distances.
ABS takes care of bringing the vehicle to a halt or slowing it down while brake assist ensures that there is maximum braking force being made available to the driver. ABS relies on the driver's foot to get the braking force.
The disadvantage with this is, there is room for human error. During panic braking, the driver might not be able to apply the maximum force on the brake pedal. It is in this scenario that brake assist comes into play, always providing maximum braking force.
Thoughts On Brake Assist Systems
There is no doubt whatsoever about the effectiveness of brake assist in reducing braking distances. It is proven that brake assist reduces braking distances by 20 to 45 percent. In the Indian market though, only premium cars come with brake assist technology.
Government regulations now mandate that ABS should be implemented in all new vehicles sold after 2019. Soon, brake assist systems too would filter down to the lower spectrum of the market and we might see a reduction in the number of accidents due to speeding.