Introduction to Brake Control Systems: ABS, TCS, and ESC C0315

Topics: Chassis, Air Frame, Vehicle Dynamics

Electronic brake control systems are required standard equipment on cars and trucks. Vehicles benefit from optimized braking, enhanced acceleration, and improved stability that these systems provide. The instructor introduces participants to system-level design considerations, vehicle interface requirements, and inevitable performance compromises that need to be addressed when implementing these technologies. Participants will begin by defining the tire-road interface and analyzing fundamental vehicle dynamics. Through an in-depth study of system electronics, hydraulic hardware, and sensor requirements, you'll learn about the control strategies employed by ABS, DRP, TCS, and ESC, and the resulting vehicle dynamics. A study of unique applications, a look forward to advanced brake control system integration, and an FMVSS126 overview are also covered.

This course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 13 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Upon completion of this course, accredited reconstructionists should mail a copy of their course certificate of achievement and the $5 participant CEU fee to ACTAR,PO Box 1493, North Platte, NE 69103.

Learning Objectives

By attending this course, you will be able to:

  • Analyze brake system design parameters and their vehicle performance effects
  • Evaluate the compromises between stability, steerability, and stopping distance
  • Identify the discrete mechanical components required for ABS
  • Specify fundamental ABS performance attributes
  • Calculate dynamic brake balance and explain the benefits of DRP
  • Reconcile TCS performance expectations vs. method of implementation
  • Define ESC performance metrics and physical limitations 
  • Assess features such as adaptive cruise control and brake assist
  • Interpret federal requirements for the performance of ESC

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.


An undergraduate engineering degree or a strong technical background is highly recommended. A basic knowledge of college algebra, college physics, and a familiarity with vehicle brake and suspension systems is required.

Also available as an SAE eLearning Course!
Introduction to Brake Control Systems: ABS, TCS, and ESC (PD730501)


“My colleagues and I are extremely satisfied with this seminar. It has opened our eyes to an entirely new aspect of braking systems! I truly feel more interested in braking systems, and the instructor lectures provided such a good perspective on the technical aspects of design. Life after the course produced motivation and encouragement to research more heavily in critical areas of study per our future dilemmas. Thank you!!”
William J. Burns
Product Engineer
Cardone Industries, Brakes Division Product Engineering


"Forget any general idea you may have about brakes; this class introduces the complexity of the brake control systems and the engineering design that goes into it."
Tim Lowe
Quality Engineering Powertrain
Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky


"Very good introduction to brake control systems. Our class had many different levels of knowledge coming into the class. I believe everyone was able to come away with new knowledge and understanding."
Kevin Adams
Staff Engineer
Honda of America Mfg., Inc.


"This class was extremely enjoyable and really opened my eyes to the complexity and importance of brake control systems. I had no idea how influenced they were to so many systems, and I feel it will definitely make me a better engineer"
Eddie Mehl
Engineering Staff
Honda of America Mfg, Inc.


You must complete all course contact hours and successfully pass the learning assessment to obtain CEUs.

James Walker, Jr.

James WalkerJames 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 Forest R. McFarland Award for distinction in professional development and education and in 2010 he was designated an SAE Master Instructor. He obtained his B.S.M.E. in 1994 from GMI Engineering & Management Institute.

Duration: 2 Days
CEUs: 1.3

Format: Classroom

Event ID: S-00666

Location: Grapevine, Texas

Session Info:

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Fees: $1,299.00

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