Issue: May 2006


Major challenges for the launch of advanced braking systems



Advanced Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Brake-by-Wire Systems Hold the Future of European Passenger Car Braking and Stability Control Systems Market

by John Larkin

In trying to achieve technology refinements, cost and
reliability are emerging as major challenges for the launch of advanced braking systems. With respect to stability control systems, low customer awareness, perception and willingness to pay are likely to be critical growth restrains. While efficient marketing campaigns could help overcome challenges associated with stability control systems, greater R&D efforts will be crucial to the growth of advanced braking systems.

Frost & Sullivan (http://www.automotive.frost.com) finds that the European Market for Advanced Braking Systems earned revenue of EUR 5.1 billion in 2005 and will reach EUR 5.4 billion in 2012. Similarly the European Market for Stability Control Systems earned revenue of EUR 1.61 billion in 2005 and will reach EUR 3.67 billion in 2012.

With a market share of over 95.0 per cent, hydraulic braking systems currently dominate the European braking systems market. The only other braking system commercially available in the market is electronic hydraulic braking (EHB) and despite their success in hybrid vehicles such as Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, EHB systems have failed to compete against hydraulic braking systems in gasoline/diesel vehicles due to their high cost as well as reliability issues.

"Starting early next decade, with the expected launch of brake-by-wire systems such as electronic wedge brake (EWB) system and electro mechanical braking (EMB) system, the domination of hydraulic braking systems is set to decline and hydraulic braking systems will move from a market maturity phase to market decline phase in its product life cycle," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Krishnasami Rajagopalan. Similarly standard ESP systems are likely to become original equipment (OE) fitments, while advanced ESP systems will see a greater uptake in the market."

However, key restraints for advanced braking systems such as EHB, EMB and hybrid braking systems include cost, reliability and after-sales serviceability, for which customers have to revert to dealers and major service centres in order to rectify any faults. Also, with low awareness of the benefits of ESP systems and their role in overall vehicle and passenger safety, many customers consider them a comfort commodity rather than a safety necessity.

Nevertheless, with ongoing R&D activities, system suppliers and vehicle manufacturers are likely to overcome these restraints by the end of this decade. Suppliers are actively working with automotive manufacturers to develop an advanced braking system, which can work on the present 12V system without a need for a higher voltage system such as the 42V system.
Moreover, depending on the efficiency of this new system, costs are likely to reduce within years of its introduction.

"The key to the success of advanced braking and stability control systems is in designing a reliable braking system, which offers maximum benefits to both vehicle manufacturers as well as end users," says Mr. Rajagopalan. "Further, in ensuring maximum market penetration, the system has to be priced strategically and should cater to the needs of different vehicle segments."

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