Compiled by Krishna Kumar

Technology innovation is the commercial vehicle industry’s most important response to the growing need to make these vehicles safer and more efficient. By pioneering breakthrough electronic, mechanical and mechatronic technologies for braking, stability and transmission automation systems, WABCO helps vehicle manufacturers and fleet operators to respond to increasingly stringent regulations around the world for safer and more efficient commercial vehicles on the road.

WABCO’s major innovations in safety and efficiency systems for trucks, buses and trailers include – amongst others since 1981 – Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Braking System (EBS), autonomous emergency braking and stability control systems as well as a range of energy efficient air compressors.

image008ABS – A Milestone for Improved Road Safety

WABCO was the first company to introduce anti-lock braking to the commercial vehicle industry and today has sold more than eight million systems globally. The system enhances the stability and steerability of vehicles in even the most extreme braking events. ABS has been mandated in many countries worldwide and has strongly contributed to improved road safety. In India, WABCO serves as the pioneer for Air Braking Systems and has been consistently working with vehicle manufacturers, fleet owners, tanker operators and bus operators, to highlight the advantages and importance of using ABS. In 2006, India mandated ABS for all vehicles carrying hazardous goods, tractor-trailers and long distance buses. Over the past five years, the company has helped to improve the safety of 25,000 petroleum and hazardous goods carriers in India alone by fitting them with the company’s robust Anti-Lock Braking System.

OptiDrive Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) – Improving Driver Effectiveness

WABCO is also continuously enhancing its technology of automated manual transmissions. It has sold more than two million AMT systems worldwide. The latest development, OptiDrive, is based on a modular design to make it easily adaptable to any manual gear box, reducing the development time required for vehicle and transmission makers to apply the system to their platforms by as much as 50%. It automatically engages the vehicle’s clutch and gear shift actuation. It optimises gear shifting and thus increases fuel economy by up to 5% for trucks and buses in congested city traffic and on long hauls alike.

WABCO’s AMT technology helps reduce driver stress and fatigue, thereby, improving driver effectiveness; it frees drivers from frequent gear shifting and improves vehicle control and road safety. Recently, the company has partnered with a number of major commercial fleet operators in India to newly develop as well as retrofit AMT solutions, including trials on buses.

WABCO Timeline of Key Innovations

2012 First electronic braking system (EBS) for hybrid-driven trucks and buses
2012 First hydraulic anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic stability control (ESC) for medium duty commercial vehicles
2011 First adaptive cruise control (ACC) on a commercial vehicle in China
2010 First advanced emergency braking system (AEBS) in compliance with the European Union’s expected regulation
2009 First simulation system for electronic stability control (ESC) homologation
2008 First autonomous emergency braking system (AEBS)
2007 First collision mitigation system (CMS) with active braking
2001 First electronic stability control (ESC) system
1996 First electronic braking system (EBS)
1986 First automated manual transmission (AMT) system
1986 First electronically controlled air suspension (ECAS) system
1981 First anti-lock braking system (ABS)




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