Whopper Stoppers: Electronic Wedge Brakes to Revolutionize Slowing Down

A new braking system set to arrive in two years could dramatically improve the time (and distance) it takes to not go. It's the electronic wedge brake (EWB), and it could heighten cars' stopping power significantly. The system ditches messy hydraulics for an electric motor, which laterally activates a wedge-shaped stopper — like that of an old horse cart — through a series of interlocking teeth between the caliper and disc. What's most thrilling for drivers is the faster a car is traveling when brakes are applied, the more powerful the stoppage. Developer Siemens says the system requires one-tenth the energy required in hydraulic braking and can run without incident on a car's typical 12-volt power setup. We'll get a better look at this new mousetrap when the first wedge-equipped car — an Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche — hits in 2008.

Super Binders [AutoWeek]

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