What is Brake Assist (BA/BAS) in a car ?


Learn How Brake Assist Works ?

Brake Assist Advantages And Working

Brake Assist is an active vehicle safety system that helps the driver during incidents involving emergency braking. This system is often recognized by the abbreviations BA or BAS. Mercedes Benz is the first manufacturer to offer this system as a standard feature on all its vehicles since year 1998.

Why is Brake Assist necessary?

Studies carried out by vehicle manufacturers have revealed that most of the road accidents could have been avoided if the driver would have applied the brakes immediately and with more pressure after recognizing the danger. However, drivers are not always at fault in such situations. It is because there are limitations to how fast a human being can react to a particular situation. Thus, vehicle manufacturers employed an electronic system i.e. brake assist to help drivers in such panic situations.

How Brake Assist works?

In this system, the following components play a key role:

  1. Accelerator sensor
  2. Brake sensor
  3. Engine Control Unit (ECU)
How brake assist works
How brake assist works

To begin with, let us consider an event of normal braking. During such event, driver lifts off foot from accelerator and presses brake pedal. The same actions are performed even in the case of emergency braking, but with greater intensity. ECU measures this intensity with the help of inputs from accelerator and brake sensors and determines whether driver has encountered an emergency. If it is found that the braking is due to an emergency, then ECU orders the brake booster (a component of brake system that can control pressure of braking) to apply more pressure on brakes so that vehicle could be brought to a stop early. Of course, the system takes care that the pressure applied is always optimum.

Advantages of Brake Assist:

Advantages of Brake Assist (Courtesy: Toyota)

Undoubtedly, this system is very useful in reducing the stopping distances during emergencies as it applies optimum brake force almost instantly. Many studies claim reduction of more than 20% in stopping distances. Also, this system has helped saving many lives by avoiding accidents.

Brake assist discussed in this article is a basic version of such systems. With the further advancements in technology, radar assisted autonomous systems which are capable of taking braking decisions independently (called autonomous emergency braking system) are also getting popular.

Here is an interesting video that explains the importance of Brake Assist in simple terms:

More technical details of brake assist are available in the following video:

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