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Anti lock braking system (ABS): A vehicle will follow the path steered by its front wheels as long as the wheels are turning and gripping the road. In poor road surfaces or in poor weather conditions, the wheels lose traction resulting in a skid - if you apply brakes in an emergency.The best technique to stop in such conditions is - cadence braking - pumping the brake pedal several times in quick succession which forces the wheels to regain traction and effect a deceleration. Electronics has taken over this cadence braking in ABS. In some cases, the CPU which effects the braking in quick succession draws real time information from individual wheels whether the wheel is still in rotation. This helps to suitably change the braking force required for a quick deceleration on a wheel-by-wheel basis.
ABS is capable of providing shorter stopping distances in difficult situations compared with a conventional system. With ABS, you simply push on the brake pedal as hard as necessary to make the stop. If traction is marginal, you may feel a pulsing sensation through the brake pedal, which is quite normal. Throughout the stop, you have steering control, so you can swerve or turn if required to avoid an obstacle.
Technology has been at the forefront in some of the recent cars for adding safety to the occupants - Smart Airbags which use a G force sensor to control the rate of inflation and Smart Car seatbelts which adjust the tension of the belt according to the physical weight of the seat occupant. They even have a Head-Up display splashed across the Windscreen showing what an Infra-red Camera at the front sees so that you can gain considerable visibility against poor weather condition. The possibilities are endless with the technology ...
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