All the cars in the market are an evident enough to know that the automobile industry is developing at a great pace. We have actually evolved from covering the distances on foot and on bullock carts and horse carts to the electric cars and Superfast sports cars.
But there are pros and cons of everything. And we had road accidents occurring, and then the industry experts started working on the design of cars to prevent accidents and injuries in the accidents. If we go by the stats, nearly 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year. Road crashes are ranked as the 9th leading cause of death and account for 2.2% of all deaths globally.
These days cars comes equipped with air bags, anti-lock breaking system, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist, crash avoidance systems, automatic parking control etc. to ensure the passengers safety.
There is one more such automobile advancement in line that would come equipped in our cars very soon and that is Brake Override System or Driver Override System.
What is Brake Override System?
In initial vehicles the braking system used to be simple. When you pressed the brake pedal, a mechanical system physically used brake shoes to stop the car. But that sudden braking had many bad effects both for the passengers and of the car. Advancements in the technology changed the braking system. Instead of having a direct connection between your foot on the pedal and the brake pad on the wheel, there is a system installed which helps in smooth stopping of the car.
Brake Override systems is one more such System which is a Smart Technology. Hence we can also refer to it as “Smart Pedal”. The system’s sensors or “Smart” technology recognize mixed signals or an electric malfunction when the gas and brake pedals are being pressed simultaneously. After recognizing an abnormal acceleration, it overrules the command and sends signals to the central computer system to stop the vehicle safety.
How does it work?
The modern cars are suitable to have Smart Stop technology or Smart Pedal technology since they have a fully integrated electronic brake system. Hence, sensors could be installed in the cars that can transmit signals to a single overarching electronic control unit which in turn could calculate what commands to send to different parts of the vehicle.
The brake override systems comprises of sensors at the brake and gas pedals, a computer to make decisions for what the car should do and wiring to connect it all. If it detects any abnormal condition like braking and speeding of the car simultaneously, the computer could engage the brake in many ways in order to stop the car. This process of stopping of car is also known as “Reduction of Power” and that could be achieved in the below 3 ways:
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- Adjust the throttle position.
- Reduce the amount of fuel getting to the engine.
- Change of timing.
When the Brake override system is activated, the brake fluid pressure is made high enough to stop the vehicle. This is achieved by combination of Electronic Control Unit and Anti-Lock Brake System. The smart pedal system closes the throttle plate in order to reduce the speed of the engine. The complete functionality of the Smart Pedal technology is divided in two stages
- The response time by the brake override system is depended on how heavily the driver pushes the brake pedal. If the pressure on the brake is light along with the activation of acceleration then there would be a delay in the response of the system.
- The vehicle gets to the normal position when the system is deactivated. The deactivation is achieved when the driver starts using the brake and the accelerator pedals separately. And the system synchronizes the position of the accelerator and the throttle plate resumes to its normal position, hence the vehicle drives normally.
When brake override works?
As the brake override system is a Smart technology since it has sensors and a computer software with the capability to decode the signal and to decide what would the right thing to do. The system is also capable of judging whether it is an unusual situation where the acceleration is not intended. There are a variety of situations in which the brake override system is activated are as below:
- An object becomes entangled with the accelerator pedal causing it to stay down after the driver has released their foot.
- Both the accelerator and brake pedal are accidentally pushed simultaneously.
- An electrical malfunction causes the vehicle to accelerate beyond the driver’s intention.
The simple principle behind the brake override system is that if the vehicle is accelerating even if the driver is applying the brakes but the vehicle is still accelerating, that means something is wrong with the vehicle and it should be brought to a stop position.
What are the limitations?
No technology is completely perfect. It do comes with some of the limitations. Some of the limitations of the Smart Pedal Technology is as below:
- The driver cannot maintain a safe speed or stop quickly.
- In poor driving conditions, the driver needs to be extra attentive and watchful.
- Even after having the brake override system in place, the driver needs to keep a safe distance from other vehicles as, you cannot estimate after how much distance the car would stop.
- Some conflicts in the operation of the system are caused because of the electrical malfunctions, sticking of objects around the gas pedal or two-footed driving. So, the driver needs to have safe driving technique and take care that footwear doesn’t get stuck, space at the feet is clear, and that objects in the car are secured in place.
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The purpose of the Smart Pedal Technology is to prevent the driver from accidentally speeding the vehicle, in order to give a safe and confident driving to the customers. Eventually, reducing the percentage of death due to road accidents.