Offered through SAE International

I.D.# C0551, Duration: 2 Days

The optimized braking performance, enhanced acceleration capability, and improved vehicle stability provided by electronic brake control systems all add up to safer vehicles. This comprehensive seminar is offered to expose participants to the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics and then illustrate how brake control systems can influence vehicle dynamic responses during limit handling maneuvers and/or adverse driving conditions.

This course is not currently scheduled. Please Contact Us for more information.

Day one begins by reviewing the tire-road interface, longitudinal vehicle dynamics, and hydraulic brake system performance. Following a brief overview of brake control system architecture and mechanization, the participants learn about the fundamental control strategies employed by anti-lock braking systems (ABS) and dynamic rear proportioning (DRP). Day two explores lateral vehicle dynamics. Starting with steering response and lateral weight transfer, the material transitions into the study of combined longitudinal and lateral responses. These concepts are then punctuated by the analysis of traction control (TCS) and electronic stability control (ESC), effectively tying together vehicle dynamic characteristics and electronic brake controls enhancement. The seminar concludes with a study of vehicle test execution, vehicle evaluation sensitivities, and a self-administered learning assessment. In order to bring learning back to the workplace, participants are provided with over 500 pages of detailed course notes and illustrations.

Learning Objectives
By attending this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Explain the tire-road interface and calculate longitudinal weight transfer
  • Estimate brake system balance and brake proportioning
  • Specify fundamental ABS performance attributes
  • Analyze the physics of turning and compute lateral weight transfer
  • Define the importance of transient and steady state portions of turn development
  • Reconcile TCS performance expectations vs. method of implementation
  • Interpret ESC metrics and ultimate dynamic limitations
  • Demonstrate the influence that vehicle test procedures have on vehicle dynamic test results

Who Should Attend
This course has been developed for engineers involved in all fields related to the design or development of vehicle dynamics, vehicle braking systems, powertrain systems, chassis systems, or suspension systems. In addition, this course can be valuable to those with component design responsibilities in brake, chassis, suspension, or tire disciplines.

Individuals new to the field of brake control systems will benefit most from the material; this introductory course is not intended for individuals with significant experience with brake control systems. In addition, please note that because of proprietary considerations this class does not provide details of algorithm design, algorithm performance, or algorithm application. Instead, the course places strong emphasis on vehicle dynamic responses.

You should have an undergraduate engineering degree or a strong technical background. As a minimum, a basic knowledge of college algebra, college physics, and a familiarity with vehicle brake and suspension systems is required.

Seminar Content

  • The Tire-Road Interface and Longitudinal Weight Transfer
    • Defining longitudinal slip
    • Longitudinal mu-slip relationship
    • Principles of longitudinal weight transfer
    • Friction circle concept
  • Fundamentals of Straight-Line Braking
    • What do braking systems do?
    • How does each of the components contribute?
    • What are the underlying fundamental relationships?
  • Brake Proportioning and Braking Stability
    • Longitudinal weight transfer revisited
    • Rear brake proportioning fundamentals
    • Braking stability
    • Rear brake proportioning in practice
  • Stability, Steerability, Stopping Distance
    • Define stability, steerability, stopping distance
    • Illustrate with mµ-slip curves
    • Illustrate with friction circle
  • Mechanization of ABS
    • ECU functions and components
    • HCU functions and components
    • ABS hold, release, and apply functions
    • Diagnostics and warning lamp considerations
  • ABS Performance
    • ABS objectives and strategies
    • Basics of ABS wheel control
    • ABS performance on homogeneous surfaces
    • ABS performance under other conditions
  • DRP Performance
    • Weight transfer and brake proportioning
    • Proportioning valve design and performance
    • DRP strategies, wheel control, and performance
    • DRP benefits, design compromises, and limitations


  • Steering Response and Lateral Weight Transfer
    • Lateral mµ-slip analysis
    • High-speed steering dynamics
    • Lateral weight transfer
  • Transient and Steady-State Cornering
    • Transient response
    • Steady-state response
    • Neutral steer, understeer, and oversteer
  • Combined Lateral and Longitudinal Dynamics
    • The friction circle revisited
    • Braking in a turn, turning while braking
    • Drive-off in a turn, turning during drive-off
  • Mechanization of TCS and ESC
    • Additional ECU functions and components
    • Additional HCU functions and components
    • Pressure build sequence
  • TCS Performance
    • TCS objectives and strategies
    • Basics of TCS wheel control
    • TCS control under various conditions
    • Driveline architecture interactions
  • ESC Performance
    • ESC objectives and strategies
    • Basics of ESC wheel control
    • ESC performance
    • Driveline architecture interactions
  • Path Selection
    • Defining terms and concepts
  • Variations on Path
    • Defining the apex
    • Driving the friction circle
  • Learning Assessment

Instructor: James Walker, Jr.
James Walker, Jr. is currently a Principal Engineer specializing in chassis, brake, and electronic brake control systems at Carr Engineering, Inc. His prior professional experience includes brake control system development, design, release, and application engineering at Kelsey-Hayes, Saturn Corporation, General Motors, Bosch, Ford Motor Company, and Delphi.

Mr. Walker created scR motorsports consulting in 1997, and subsequently competed in seven years of SCCA Club Racing in the Showroom Stock and Improved Touring categories. Through scR motorsports, he has been actively serving as an industry advisor to Kettering University in the fields of brake system design and brake control systems. Since 2001, he has served as a brake control system consultant for StopTech, a manufacturer of high-performance racing brake systems. In addition to providing freelance material to multiple automotive publications focusing on chassis and brake technology, Mr. Walker is the author of the book High-Performance Brake Systems: Design, Selection, and Installation. In 2005, he was presented with the SAE International Forest R. McFarland Award for distinction in professional development and education. He obtained his B.S.M.E. in 1994 from GMI Engineering & Management Institute.

1.3 CEUs

This course is not currently scheduled. Please Contact Us for more information.

Upcoming Seminars

Have You Read It?

The Book

Yes, in fact we did write the book on brakes, thank you very much...

High-Performance Brake Systems: Design, Selection, and Installation by Author James Walker, Jr.