Anti-Lock Braking Systems are fast becoming standard with stringent legislations and safety norms in developing countries.
Anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety system for automobiles which is intended to keep the wheel rotating and to prevent the skidding of the vehicle. ABS is now a standard feature in many vehicles and it offers expanded functions as well. Anti-lock braking systems are already mandatory in the developed regions of North America and Europe, while the stringent legislations and safety norms in the developing countries are set to rapidly generate demand for these systems, thereby creating high growth opportunities for the anti-lock braking systems market.
The growing number of deaths brought on because of street mishaps has constrained the administration in numerous regions to actualise stringent guidelines and regulations, and deploy ABS in all vehicles, which is steadily boosting the growth of the global market. For instance, the Road Transport Ministry of India reported in September 2015 that every one of the models of bikes should be fitted with combined braking system (CBS) and anti-lock braking system by 2018. Other than allowing the driver to maintain the directional stability of the vehicle and control over steering during braking, there are other important of ABS which adds to its features. It helps the car to take sharp corners more quickly and safely. ABS acts as traction control and the classic case is that of the modern Range Rover which uses the inbuilt ABS to gently brake a slipping wheel to help restore traction and grip. Further, anti-lock braking systems function efficiently to make a vehicle come to halt quickly. Anti-lock braking systems help to absorb the turbulence shock waves and also modulates the pulses, thereby allowing the wheel to continually turn under maximum braking pressure. Thus, the usage of anti-lock braking systems in self-breaking systems is rising significantly. However, inconsistent stop times and high cost associated with these systems are posing to be a restraint to the growth of the global market.
The global automotive anti-lock braking systems market can be segmented, by components into speed sensors, hydraulic motor, pressure release valves, brake calipers and control module. On the basis of types of the global market can be classified into Four-Channel, Four-Sensor; Three-Channel, Three-Sensor and One-Channel, One-Sensor. In addition, the market can be geographically divided broadly into five regions, namely: North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America and the Middle East and Africa. The anti-lock braking systems market in North America and Europe has a high penetration rate and is already well-established. The deployment of these systems is also witnessing significant growth in the emerging regions of Asia Pacific, South America and Middle East and Africa, owing to the introduction of stringent legislation and policy framework mandating the installation of safety equipment in automobiles, coupled with the consumers’ preference for better safety measures and their rapidly increasing in purchasing power.
Developing countries such as Brazil, India, UAE and Russia are expected to record a significant growth in the demand for automotive anti-lock braking systems in the coming years. However, the largest share of the global market is expected to be held by the major automotive producing countries of the UK, Germany and China during 2016-2024.
How ABS saves lives?
Anti-lock braking system has become an integral part of most commuters. ABS does not allow wheel locking which in turn leads to avoid wheel locking. But, how does it work? In essence, any ABS system whether with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) for four-wheeler and Rear-wheel Lift Protection (RLP) for two-wheelers has one basic function. The brakes, while being braked hard, should not lock which eventually leads into losing control of a vehicle.
While panic braking or hard braking, wheels tend to lock in case the pressure of the brake applied is more than the grip available for the tyres. This, for non-ABS vehicles, results in catastrophic results, however for vehicles with ABS, this can prove to be safer. An ABS has a set of sensors as well as electornic components which include a controller, speed sensors, pump and valves. Other sophisticated systems have this in an electronic 'box' which has evolved and is being used in most cars equipped with ABS.
Coming to the actual working, whenever a panic braking manoeuvre occurs, the system kicks in and avoids locking by making the wheel which has the least traction (or all wheels depending on the vehicle) where the brakes would have a rapid 'clapping' action thereby bringing the vehicle to a stop. Numerous test results have proven that a vehicle without ABS would have beared poor results over a vehicle with one. An example is the TVS test which proves that a motorcycle with ABS stops quicker versus a vehicle with ABS.
Safety systems should not be viewed as premium features that come along with top end models. Equipping the vehicles in India with safety technologies will certainly have a cost implication in the initial stages. But if it becomes a norm rather than an exception, safety installations will increase and gradually this will bring prices down. This is how developed economies evolved over the decades in vehicle safety systems.
The Journey So Far
The concept of ABS was introduced to the world sometime in 1929 for aircraft braking. However, in the early seventies the same was incorporated in automobiles. A controversy still exists as to who was first, Mercedes or Chrysler. Nevertheless, the ninth generation of ABS is in vogue today, as informed by Dr Andreas Wolf, Executive Vice President, Manufacturing and Quality, Bosch India at a recent event held at their Pune plant. During this long journey spanning several decades, many systems have been integrated in ABS and special emphasis has been towards light weighting this crucial safety component. Interestingly, the weight of ABS has come down from 4.8 kg in generation 1 to an impressive 1.15 kg in generation 9! With time, experience and continuous research, new safety concepts usable in conjunction with ABS have been developed and form part of the standard product range offered by eminent suppliers.
The one-channel ABS is an addition to Continental’s portfolio of motorcycle systems currently in series production: Motorcycle Integral Brake Systems (MIB) and Motorcycle Anti-Lock Brake Systems (MAB - 2 Channel ABS). The two-channel ABS MK 100 MAB or three-channel MK 3-2 MAB has been available as a mid-range feature, while the MK 100 MIB has been available as the ultimate feature. With a box volume of significantly less than 300 cu cm and weighing roughly 420 g, the motorcycle ABS is very light and can be easily applied to suit the widest range of motorcycle and motor scooter models.
Continental’s EBS offer advanced brake engineering for all classes of vehicles, from compact cars to light trucks.
The MK 100 ABS Entry has been designed for the vehicle segments A, B and C in the growing markets and with the XT version can be extended to cover the D vehicle segment as well. The packaging is compact and extremely light, at less than 1,200 g. Furthermore, throughout the MK 100 product family, the hydraulic and electrical interfaces are compatible with each other, which make the MK 100 easily applicable for platform concepts of car manufacturers wanting to benefit from a truly scalable product range. The MK 100 ABS Entry is produced locally in the markets of China & India.
Significant challenges to ABS
Safety awareness in India is still very low and users compromise on the same in favour of lower price of the vehicle instead. Many automakers comply with this market sentiment by offering high end safety features as optional at extra cost. It is high time for India to mandate safety in automobiles as it figures in the list of top five accident prone countries.
ICRA reports that while ABS has become mandatory fitment for all new heavy commercial vehicles in India from October 2015, it is being made mandatory for all above-125 cc two-wheelers from April 2017. Also from October 2017, when the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme (BNVSAP) comes into effect, critical safety features such as airbags, ABS and seatbelt reminders will become standard in cars sold in India as also mandatory crash testing (offset front crash, side and rear impact tests).
According to ICRA, ABS is a Rs 6,500 crore market for suppliers of this system. It says that growing awareness of vehicle safety among consumers in India along with upcoming mandatory safety norms is set to be a sharp driver of sales of essential safety kit like ABS. Meanwhile, ICRA expects the Indian auto component industry to gain momentum and register a growth of 8-10 per cent in FY2017. Bosch foresees a huge demand for ABS systems in India. In order to meet the anticipated demand for ABS systems in the country in future, Bosch is planning to start manufacturing ABS for bikes at Chakan plant in Pune from April this year. Bosch Chassis Systems makes a million units of ABS and Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) for four-wheelers and commercial vehicles at its Pune facility. Government has made it mandatory for all cars and mini-buses to install ABS by April 2019. According to a notification of the road transport ministry, all vehicles will have to comply with the norms from April 2018 onwards.