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Electronic Components/Automated Halt Mechanism on Brakes Failure


QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Is the following automated system can be designed and developed in a four wheeler i.e. Car, Jeep, Truck etc  ?.

Example :

Driver is driving the vehicle at 160 Km/Hr speed on a highway.
Suddenly he/she realizes that the brakes have failed now in this case the driver has to use his all driving skills to avoid collisions and accidents.

The Automated System designed will slowly and gradually halt/stop the automobile even in case of brakes failure.

Another way is "Prevention is better than cure". A instrument control Panel indicating the possibility of brakes wear and tear out.

Is it possible to automate the motion stop operation in event
of vehicle brakes failure ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: This is possible.
Many trucks implement a function called a "Jake Brake", or compression release engine braking,  which uses the engine to slow the vehicle. This particular system is specific to Diesel engines, but a similar mechanism is possible for gasoline or petrol engines. You can experience this yourself by switching to a lower gear when driving. People who are experienced in driving in mountainous areas know that using a lower gear while descending a hill can permit the driver to use the regular brakes less, thus avoiding over-heating - and subsequent failure of the brakes.

After the vehicle is sufficiently slowed, the engine can be shut off, and it should stop the vehicle, presuming the land is flat.

This system could be automated, and would not be 100% effective if going down hills, but it can help slow the vehicle.

However, it is extraordinarily rare that one would experience a total failure of the braking system in an automobile. While the power brakes may fail in the event of a hydraulic failure, the emergency brakes (or hand brake) should still be operational. If both systems have failed, this would indicate that the vehicle is very poorly maintained, and, in such an instance, should not be driven at all. Relying on a tertiary system to slow a vehicle is quite unwise. But it is possible.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Deirdre

Thank you.

Is it possible to design a instrument control panel indicating the possibility of mechanical brakes wear and tear out before ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Warnings already exist in most cars. In cars with ABS, if the ABS fails, a warning lamp is lit. If the hydraulic fluid is low, a lamp is lit. And if the brake pads are worn, the brakes will make a noise. It is extremely rare that brakes will fail with no indication or warning.

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Deirdre Hebert


I can answer most questions regarding electronic components, what they are and how to use them.


I worked for a number of years in the electronic component testing industry, designing and building automated test equipment for the electronic manufacturing industry.

Numerous technical manuals for the equipment we built.

UNH, CCAF and others

Past/Present Clients
General Electric, Motorola, Ford, Sensonor and others.

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