By Preston LernerPosted 09.04.2012 at 10:13 am 0 Comments
Like many of the lessons taught in driver-education classes in days of yore, the exhortation to "pump the brakes" when skidding on a slick or snowy road wasn't entirely correct. The problem that this technique was supposed to address was brake lockup. Although it may seem counterintuitive, a locked wheel, i.e. a wheel that isn't turning, doesn't stop nearly as effectively as one that's turning slowly. Also, if the tires are skidding, you lose all directional control, which means that you can no longer can steer the car.
As the world goes increasingly wireless, we've learned to tolerate a certain degree of failure in our wireless systems--like when your computer just won't sync up with the wireless internet at the cafe, or when our phones drop a call. But what about situations when wireless systems simply cannot fail? A failure rate of zero is tough to achieve in any system, but computer scientists at Saarland University in Germany have demonstrated a wireless bicycle brake that works 99.999999999997 percent of the time.
Responding to concerns about Toyota's recall of 8 million cars, President Obama has asked the National Academy of Science (NAS) and NASA to conduct a formal investigation of computer technology in cars. The NAS will oversee the broad program, while NASA will specifically examine computer-controlled acceleration in Toyota's Prius hybrid.
By Mark AndersPosted 07.01.2009 at 4:27 pm 2 Comments
SeaDoo’s GTX Limited promises to do everything fast—even slow down. As the first personal watercraft with brakes, it aims to make riding easier and reduce accidents by stopping in half the usual distance.
A new brake concept uses a carâ€™s energy to slow itself down, making brake fluid obsolete
By Stephan WilkinsonPosted 01.16.2006 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
Despite all the auto-tech brain-power in this world, fully electronic brakes-
which would replace brake fluid with lighter, quicker wires and motors-have yet to arrive. The long-standing obstacle: Industry-standard 12-volt electrical systems can´t drive a motor powerful enough to stop a two-ton sedan. The prototype Electronic Wedge Brake, by German company Siemens, solves this problem by tapping the vehicle´s own energy to slow itself down. Electric motors  drive screwjacks  that move a corrugated outer plate  fore and aft in plane with the rotor .
With 302 horses at your disposal, you'd think that stopping the 2002 Mercedes SL500 convertible would be an issue. Not so.
The car features the first brake-by-wire system. Hit the brakes and a computer begins slowing you within a fraction of a second. The system also determines which wheels have the most traction and applies the brakes accordingly to prevent a skid.
And just in case it pulls a Windows 98 on you, hydraulics act as a backup. Available next spring; price not set.