In the know: Understanding the alphabet of brake tech


As a father to a one-and-a-half-year-old toddler, I pretty much have the alphabet song on repeat, daily, even on weekends — especially during weekends. And as kids are taught to master ABCs, drivers too, could use a little lesson in the brake alphabet.


  • What are the common braking technologies one can expect to see in a car?

    Some of the common braking technologies found in cars include ABS, EBD, AEB, and ESP.
  • How do these technologies help drivers?

    Most of these braking technologies are designed to allow a driver more control over a vehicle in certain braking situations, reducing the risk of sliding or crashing.
  • If you find yourself scratching your head over what ABS, EBD, or AEB is, then you’re in luck. Because today, we’re going to talk about common braking tech features and what they do for you.



    ABS is short for anti-lock braking system. This safety braking technology basically prevents the wheels from locking up when braking. As a result, your vehicle maintains tractive contact with the road, therefore allowing you to have more control over the vehicle in certain situations.

    Without ABS, one may skid and slide when stepping suddenly on the brakes. Yikes!

    One study (2004 Australian study by Monash University Accident Research Center) showed that equipping a vehicle with ABS can reduce the risk of multiple vehicular accidents by 18 percent while another (a 1999 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study) reveals that ABS increases the stopping distance of vehicles on loose gravel by an average of 27.2 percent.


    Electronic brakeforce distribution, or EBD, is a braking technology that distributes and applies the necessary braking force for each wheel. EBD senses different load values and apply the necessary force on the wheel that needs it the most.

    That said, EBD is pretty much like ABS in the sense that it prevents a vehicle from gliding and swerving out of control. In fact, EBD is often paired with ABS to ensure optimal braking control as the former ensures that the force is appropriately distributed on each wheel while the latter ensures that the wheels do not lock in when one is abruptly braking.


    Did you know that brakes can now activate autonomously? Yep, that’s what AEB does. Autonomous emergency braking, aka AEB, automatically stops a vehicle just in case its driver fails to take action in a situation where braking is necessary.

    It’s no secret that our legs can get tired during a long drive and fatigue could have an effect on one’s ability to react immediately — like stepping on the brakes. AEB-equipped vehicles have the capability to prevent crashes, or at least reduce the seriousness of the impact of an unavoidable crash.


    Electronic stability program is a braking technology that increases a vehicle’s stability. This system works best when one is driving in corners as ESP can detect when a vehicle is losing stability or loss of traction. ESP builds upon the foundations laid by ABS and EBD (which work effectively when braking on straight lines) and also prevents a vehicle from skidding and improves a vehicle’s balance when conquering corners.

    Photos from Brembo

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