The following is the third of three articles by Carlos Agudelo posted on The Brake Academy about another aspect of dealing with brake emissions as the world – and industry – come to grasp with this challenge.

The first two articles:

The Evolution of Brake Pad and Rotor Emissions

The Evolution of Automotive Brake Emission: Part 2 of 3

Ten things the industry did to reduce brake emissions — a view from 2032

In my last blog, I discussed ways to reduce brake emission: from reformulations of brake friction material formulations to innovations in brake coupling technology leading to less wear.

6. Accelerated electrification

The combination of multiple industries and government strategies, including a) fair trade certification for rare earth metals for electronics and raw materials for electric batteries, b) propulsion battery recycling reaching 80 % since 2030, c) stable regional supply chains for the past five years accommodating geopolitical changes in Europe, and d) the average electric vehicle price dropping below $25,000 in 2022 dollars, accelerated the pace of electrification predicted ten years ago by the International Energy Agency. A significant catalyst for this acceleration in E.V. penetration was the full deployment of The Electric Vehicles Initiative (EVI), a multi-governmental policy forum established in 2010 under the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM). Governments, regions, cities, and industries also completed plans to extend charging networks with clean energy for over 90 percent of the passenger cars, 95 percent of commercial vehicles, and 100 % of public transport. China, Korea, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, and the U.K. led the deployment of Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEV). These countries were also leaders in achieving (China and Korea voluntary endorsing) the pledge of the Fit for 55 initiative from the European Commission.

As an intermediate step toward carbon neutrality, the E.U. has raised its 2030 climate ambition and commitments to cut emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. The accelerated electrification has reduced brake emissions by ten-fold compared to baselines developed by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) and the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) in 2023.

7. Voluntary compliance programs

In the United States, following the Better Brake Rule developed and implemented almost 20 years ago, MEMA and its Brake Manufacturers Council launched the Better Brakes Rule (BBR) 2.0 program. CARB, EPA, and the Office of Environmental Justice (within the U.S. Department of Justice) sponsored the program for brake systems and friction materials suppliers, including the Aftermarket. The BBR2.0 uses laboratory- or vehicle-level methods to demonstrate a reduction of at least 75 percent of brake emissions (# mg/km/vehicle) compared to the industry baseline developed in 2023. The program has subsections for light passenger cars, delivery vehicles or heavy trucks operating in urban and suburban areas, and public transport. The military and government fleets operate a similar program.

8. Artificial Intelligence for reduced wear

In the early 2020s, the fastest supercomputer in Japan had a cost comparable to the entire AI budget for the United States military (using 2022 budget estimates). A Japanese university developed a data storage device with the capacity to store the equivalent of 1 billion Blue-Ray discs using a 50-mm diamond wafer. Cloud computing services from Amazon and Google led the way in expanding AI tools and methods, making AI available to small and medium-sized companies. Also, the automotive industry leaped and implemented industrywide, open source, standard formats to exchange masked data. The participants include raw material suppliers, component manufacturers, brake system and mechatronics suppliers, vehicle software developers, vehicle manufacturers, the dealership network, research faculties, vehicle CAN data (limited due to data personal protection laws), and independent testing facilities. The AI platform includes databases from the ongoing collaboration between the HEI and the IHME for global exposure and health impacts. This AI initiative enables the simulation and development with reduced physical testing of new systems and designs to minimize frictional braking and optimize the paths to dissipate the vehicle kinetic energy (including active aerodynamic resistance and regenerative braking). To ensure a 360° view of the vehicle parc, the data available to the industry also incorporate statistics on vehicle sales, traffic volumes, vehicle crashes with or without bodily injury, fatalities, brake or powertrain service jobs, recalls, and energy consumption (fossil fuels and electricity). This activity has found new relationships and patterns that previous models could not predict. A technical AI panel works towards improving the ability of the industry to understand new findings and make them available to the industry for individual developments.

To view the entire article, as well as other charts and graphics, click HERE.