While many brake-by-wire systems eliminate hydraulics and pneumatics for braking tasks, this system from Mico combines the control flexibility of electronics and the power of hydraulics to create a versatile braking system.
The brake-by-wire system replaces the traditional mechanical braking linkage and pressure-modulating valve with an electronic pedal and angle sensor, an electronic control unit and an electrohydraulic modulating valve (EHV). The angle sensor reads the brake pedal angle and sends an electrical signal to the electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU, which is programmable to set a vehicle’s braking characteristics, then passes current to the pressure-modulating valve that pressurizes the brakes. The output from the pedal angle sensor can also be shared with electronic engine controllers and transmission controllers for improved vehicle performance.
The system offers many advantages, including the capability of removing the modulating valve, with any associated noise, from the cab area and moving it closer to the brakes. This arrangement decreases the noise level in the cab, improving the operator’s work environment. It also reduces the amount of hydraulic line needed to power the brakes.
Anti-lock brakes and traction control can be used in conjunction with the brake-by-wire system for vehicle control. Brake-by-wire technology also allows inching control to be used to electronically control vehicle braking, especially in vehicles with hydrostatic transmissions. In this instance, the brake pedal serves two functions. The first function reduces the transmission’s power to the drive train, while the second applies power to the brakes.
Brake-by-wire can also be used in manual transmission vehicles. For vehicles stopped on an incline, the brakes can be programmed to hold the vehicle in place until enough throttle is applied to disengage the brakes. This ensures safety by not requiring the operator to depress the brake and clutch simultaneously to shift into gear. The brake-by-wire system can also be used in vehicles controlled by remote or dual operator stations, including wireless stations.