Munich – An international team of approximately 100 engineers at Knorr-Bremse is working on a major project for a new brake control system for trucks. The result is known as Global Scalable Brake Control – GSBC. Not only can it be adapted to a wide variety of customer requirements, it also lays the groundwork for automated driving.
“No one can see the future in a crystal ball, but you can prepare very well for certain scenarios,” explains Dr. Patrick Mattes, Head of the Center of Competence Brake Control Truck. “This is a major challenge for all truck manufacturers when developing new models. After all, they want to produce their model series for around 10 years without having to make any serious changes to the architecture. Manufacturers therefore stand to benefit when they prepare their vehicles as well as possible for future system changes.”
One brake control for various systems
Knorr-Bremse’s new GSBC makes a decisive contribution in this respect.
“We are pioneers in automated driving systems,” says Frank Schwab, who is responsible for the GSBC technology. “Our new brake control system is easier to embed in the interplay of different vehicle systems and saves the manufacturer a great deal of work when it comes to the application and installation in the chassis.”
The ongoing development of truck brake control is one of the company’s major international projects. “We are now entering the decisive phases of the project,” says Szabolcs Megyeri, Project Manager GSBC. “The pilot project with the Traton Group, which consists of the VW, MAN and Scania brands, is planned for the end of 2021.”
In addition to the core team at the German site in Schwieberdingen, experts in Hungary and India are handling many of the details. Patrick Mattes also points out the cooperation with colleagues from Bendix in the USA, who are already working on the next GSBC project with Volvo. “The project work between Europe and North America is going extremely well.”
What does Global Scalable Brake Control do?
Jan Mayer, Director Program Management Brake Control, begins by explaining the basic task of brake control: “The driver steps on the brake pedal, electronic signals tell the brake control system to send compressed air through the lines to the brake calipers, which then clamp down on the brake discs. This is a highly complex operation, of course, with many sensors, actuators and controls working in concert to bring a commercial vehicle to a safe standstill in every scenario.”
Currently, this task is performed by the electronic braking system EBS, which combines many different functions. Development of the next generation of brake control, GSBC, follows on directly from the current EBS 7 and the anti-lock braking system (ABS) 8 and combines these two previously separate system environments.