Yesterday whilst driving to work I had to perform a full-blown emergency stop. Another driver pulled out just in front of me when I was doing maybe 40-50 m.p.h.
I slammed the brakes on. As my speed decreased I felt the ABS anti-lock braking system operate (the brake pedal pulses under your foot). I stopped before I reached the other car.
I’m extremely pleased that my car has a number of technology features which helped in this case. The most important is Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). From the Wikipedia:
“Research conducted in 1992 at the Mercedes-Benz driving simulator in Berlin revealed that more than 90% of drivers fail to brake with enough force in emergency situations.”
It seems that most people just apply ‘more than the usual amount’ of pressure on the brake pedal, rather than ‘as much as possible’.
The EBA system monitors the acceleration of the brake pedal, and when the pedal is suddenly pressed swings in to action by applying the maximum amount of brake force.
This will eventually activate the ABS, as the front wheels loose grip, depending on the state of the road surface and the amount of friction available.
As well as this, the hazard warning lights are automatically switched on to warn any following traffic that the car has slowed dramatically.
I’m really pleased that my car has so much hidden technology. Even though it may never be used throughout the lifetime of the car, it’s massively reassuring to know it’s there when you need it.