As Chassis Brakes International readies to begin production at its new 100,000-sq.-ft. plant in Queretaro, Mexico, the company unveiled an innovative by-wire brake system aimed for autonomous vehicles.
According to the company’s president for the Americas, Dennis Berry, their technology will lead the shift on brake systems “from a mechanical to an electronic device”.
Smart Brake is an electro-mechanical, by-wire system that simplifies stopping by shifting electronic brake controls directly to each wheel, eliminating the need for a master brake cylinder, hydraulic fluid and lines and related power-brake vacuum support.
“Using wiring instead of hydraulic lines is simpler and eliminates the environmental hazard of brake fluid,” Berry added.
Berry says Smart Brake saves weight and complexity while enabling independent braking at each wheel to assist in steering future autonomous vehicles. Electronic stability control braking also could be handled at each wheel and with each brake operating independently, the system assures ample redundancy should one of the brakes fail.
Engineering and manufacturing vehicles using wiring instead of hydraulic lines is simpler and eliminates the environmental hazard of brake fluid, he adds. End-of-line testing also is simplified.
The system will roll out first as a smart parking brake in 2021, followed by wider implementation in autonomous vehicles in 2025, he says. The company anticipates most vehicles will offer a high level of autonomous functionality by 2030 with Smart Brake providing an optimum system to meet that business demand.
Chassis Brakes International is one of the world's largest manufacturers of automotive brake systems and components. The company is about to begin production of brake calipers and rotors at a new plant in Queretaro, for two major automakers with assembly operations in Mexico and the United States. Operations at the new facility will begin in April.
The Queretaro plant is Chassis Brakes International's first North American manufacturing facility. Berry noted that the company plans to double the size of the plant over the next five to six years and is looking at additional production sites to support sales growth in the NAFTA region as well.
Globally, the company supplies brakes to PSA Peugeot Citroen, Toyota, Ford, Daimler, Renault, FCA and BMW. The company employs 5,200 people in 15 countries. Global sales in 2016 topped €881 million (US$ 1.1 billion).