Technology company Continental has received a major award in the third quarter for the series production of its semi-dry brake system (also known as Future Brake System, FBS), valued at about €1.5 billion with the start of series production with a North American car manufacturer planned for 2025.
Notably, with this new order, the system has generated sales of more than €2 billion since its launch. Besides the semi-dry brake system, the car manufacturer also ordered Continental Air Supply, a highly integrated air supply system used in combination with air springs on the front and rear axles for air suspension.
The Future Brake System uses electromechanical brakes on the rear axle, which are operated “dry” without brake fluid. In contrast, on the front axle, the wheel brakes continue to be operated hydraulically. Additionally, the new technology also includes the second-generation brake-by-wire system MK C2.
A press release from Continental stated that it will introduce a technology change to its customer from a wet to a semi-dry-brake system, which will include several new components.
Matthias Matic, Head of Business Area Safety and Motion, Continental, noted that the first business award showcases that the company is successfully shaping the future of brake systems and that its brake systems meet the future needs and requirements of trends like automated driving and electrification.
Development Towards Dry Brakes
Designed for vehicles with modified architectures, the FBS system will range from FBS0 to FBS3. At the beginning of this roadmap (FBS 0) is the second generation of Continental’s brake-by-wire system MK C2 brake system as the gateway into all Future Brake Systems.
The generations that build on this are intended to strengthen Continental’s position as one of the market leaders in one-box brake-by-wire systems.
In the next development step (FBS 1), it is no longer necessary to mount the system directly at a specific location on the firewall in front of the driver to enable mechanical fallback.
Instead, an electronic pedal supports new vehicle concepts involving different vehicle interiors and dimensions, such as the skateboard chassis of electrified vehicles, on which various bodies can be mounted.
Going forward, with FBS 2, the brake system starts to become “dry on one axle”, while with FBS 3, the brake system can be broken up into modules.
Continental noted that in the long-term view, the hydraulic system could be eliminated completely, including all fluids, thus contributing to sustainability.
The rationale behind the three-step approach, as explained by Matic, is that some customers are currently requesting this intermediate step before going dry on all corners.
He continued that to achieve FBS3, all four-wheel corners could be actuated electromechanically and would be completely ‘dry’.
“Individual functions of a brake system will be packaged as stand-alone products in modular, validated and proven software blocks,” the head of business added.