After two decades of use in Europe, electronic braking systems (EBS) will make significant inroads in the North American commercial vehicle market in the coming years to support the development of driver-assist technology and electric trucks, some industry experts said.
Representatives from brake suppliers Bendix, Meritor and Wabco use the same general time frame when discussing how quickly the technology could be adopted here.
“Within three to five years, we see EBS coming to the U.S. in larger scale,” said Thomas Dieckmann, Wabco’s innovation and technology officer.
In fact, he said “island applications” are already in use in the United States involving vehicles with 24-volt architecture and those not carrying trailers. Also, the technology is being used in some buses.
Bendix Commercial Vehicles Systems also estimates EBS will be commonplace in three to five years and has been testing the technology in the United States for the past couple of years, said Mike Tober, director for electronic brake and chassis control. Bendix currently has no North American truck manufacturer customers releasing a product outfitted with EBS. However, some buses and specialty vehicles imported from Europe incorporate the technology.
Meritor’s Joseph Kay, director of engineering, described the three- to five-year time frame as a goal. He pointed out that some regulations must be updated, while those dealing with backup strategies must be written. SAE International test procedures also must be updated.
Chris Stadler, product marketing manager for Volvo Trucks, expects adoption to occur along a three- to eight-year timetable, in part because of the challenge of training inspectors.
Many steps remain to be taken before EBS achieves widespread adoption, said Jack Legler, technical director for American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. Those include developing prototypes, track testing, verifying reliability and integrating with advanced driver assistance systems, or ADAS. Legler said an electronic braking system must be “absolutely flawless” before it can enter the market.