Anti-Lock Brakes, A History

by Nate Torvik on August 1, 2012

When the first Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) was created back in the 1920s, Mercedes-Benz was there to help lead the way. As with many other technological advancements since the first cars were made, Mercedes-Benz is and has always been a leader in innovation and progression throughout the automotive world. The ABS was not just revolutionary at the time it was created; it still is one of the greatest developments in the history of the automobile.

Mercedes-Benz technology today is the focus of much hype and excitement. The mbrace2 system, the COMAND system, 4MATIC, and BlueTEC are the names of just a few of the innovations that Mercedes has had in recent decades, so it would make sense that ABS is also a part of this great automotive family. Mercedes-Benz and Bosch, both German companies, have been working together since the 1930s to develop this technology, according to

The first ABS was placed on airplanes in 1929, but the technology slowly transitioned to the automotive world after that. In 1936, Mercedes-Benz put an ABS system on their line of Mercedes-Benz models, the S-Class.

Today, nearly every vehicle on the road has ABS as a part of their construction, showing that Mercedes-Benz has the ability to influence everyone else in the automotive world, whether the automotive world wants to admit it or not.

How does ABS actually work, you ask? Good question. The ABS prevents wheel lock-up, which is pretty self-explanatory when you consider its moniker. The system automatically modulates brake pressure during an emergency stop, thus preventing the wheels from locking. By stopping this, the driver is more easily able to continue to steer the vehicle while braking hard, allowing the vehicle to actually stop sooner than it would have otherwise in most situations.

There is a lot of technical mumbo jumbo that goes into exactly how the ABS works in relation to the rest of the brake system, like closing the normally open solenoid valves that let in brake fluid when it senses a wheel is about to lock. Truthfully, ABS is one of the most innovative creations since the wheel. To be clear, Mercedes-Benz did not invent the wheel. I think it was some guy named Ugh. Mercedes-Benz and the ABS was just another part of a long road of technological innovations that Mercedes continues today and will carry on into the future of the automotive industry.

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