Alcon’s Innovative Brake-By-Wire for Defense

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Alcon has launched its latest Brake-By-Wire technology at Eurosatory 2024, targeting defense vehicle applications. This new generation of braking systems, derived from motorsport products, promises enhanced safety, reliability, and autonomy for defense vehicles. Alcon will showcase their solutions in Hall 5A, Stand HJ280 at the event.

Key Highlights:

  • Derived from motorsport technology, Alcon’s Brake-By-Wire (BBW) system offers enhanced safety and reliability.
  • Applicable to both autonomous and crewed vehicles, providing flexibility and adaptability.
  • Scalable solutions for various defense vehicle demands, including large vehicle loads and multi-axle solutions.
  • Faster braking response, reduced maintenance, and improved diagnostics are some of the key benefits.
  • Modular and robust design, suitable for integration with diesel-electric, EV silent running, and stealth modes.

The defense vehicle technology landscape is rapidly evolving, with an increasing emphasis on protecting warfighters and saving lives. Autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles are becoming essential, necessitating high-quality, safe, and reliable braking systems. Alcon’s BBW system meets these demands, offering fit-for-purpose redundancy and system safety for various applications. The system is engineered to perform seamlessly in both autonomous and crewed vehicles, making it a critical component for OEM manufacturers.

Alcon’s journey in BBW technology began in the motorsport sector, developing their first successful product for Formula E in 2016. This innovation earned a nomination for the Most Innovative New Motorsport Product of the Year by the World Motorsport Symposium. Building on this success, Alcon has continued to refine its lightweight motorsport and autonomous BBW solutions, driven by high-profile programs. The result is a world-class, scalable BBW solution that addresses the diverse demands of defense vehicles, including large vehicle loads and multi-axle configurations (4×4, 8×8, and tracked).

Key benefits of Alcon’s BBW solutions include faster braking response, reduced maintenance, improved flexibility, and enhanced diagnostics. As defense vehicle OEMs transition to diesel-electric drives, EV silent running, stealth modes, and autonomy, integrating vehicle control systems into the broader vehicle architecture becomes crucial. Alcon’s BBW technology simplifies this integration by reducing mechanical and hydraulic complexity, offering independent control of each wheel station, and allowing for braked steering and autonomous or remote control of brake functions.

BBW is not limited to autonomous applications; it can also function as a conventional foundation braking system or blend regenerative and friction braking efficiently. This versatility delivers significant performance advantages to any vehicle OEM.

Ollie Jackson, Chief Engineer – Controlled Brakes at Alcon, commented: “There are many complexities for OEMs delivering autonomous vehicle capability, but with nearly a decade of experience in Brake-By-Wire solutions for high-performance motorsport, combined with Alcon’s considerable defense engineering experience, our latest BBW solutions solve many of the associated braking challenges. BBW also helps Alcon to deliver a full-service braking solution that combines the very latest friction braking technology to help align the defense and security vehicle market with the emerging new technologies seen in the wider automotive brake engineering environment. BBW is not just about autonomy, it’s a technology that can be applied anywhere to maximize vehicle efficiency and help save the lives of those operating vehicles at risk in harsh environments.”

With this new BBW system, Alcon continues to lead in innovation, providing defense vehicles with state-of-the-art braking solutions that enhance safety, reliability, and performance.

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