Applied Brake Controls Test Track Experience: ABS, TCS, and ESC C0610

Topics: Chassis, Air Frame, Vehicle Dynamics

Take notes.  Take a spin.  Repeat.  Six classroom modules (2 each for ABS, TCS and ESC!) are paired with six driving modules on a real-world ice and snow development test track in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  There's no better way to reinforce classroom learning than by grabbing the steering wheel.  All of the driving exercises have been specifically developed so that anyone can hop in the car and immediately link what you have just learned in the classroom.  As an added benefit an SAE Instructor will be riding along side you in the passenger seat to encourage, coach and answer any questions that you may have regarding the learnings in real time.  

Experience the vehicle dynamic enhancements afforded by anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control (TCS), and electronic stability control (ESC) with this highly interactive two-day course.  Designed to get you out of the classroom and on to the test track, a total of six 60-minute structured learning experiences behind the wheel will vividly illustrate the benefits, limitations, and ultimate compromises that must be made when designing and implementing modern brake control systems.

Vehicles used for demonstration will be capable of allowing participants to directly compare their best-unassisted driving performance to the enhanced vehicle dynamics provided with the systems fully enabled.  The course concludes with a brief exposure to the complex interactions between these technologies on a specially-prepared low-coefficient handling course.  Detailed course notes and illustrations are provided for on-the-job reference.  In order to cover all content and provide effective driving exercises, this course requires eight hours of instructional contact per day versus SAE's normal 6.5 per day.

The course has been approved by the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR) for 16 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:

  • Define the trade-offs between ABS stability, ABS steerability, and vehicle stopping distance
  • Analyze the compromises made during ABS transitions and split-coefficient deceleration
  • Explain the benefits and limitations of engine-only TCS, brake-only TCS, and full-function TCS
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of engine-only TCS, brake-only TCS, and full-function TCS
  • Interpret ESC metrics and assess overall system performance
  • Experience moding interactions between ABS, TCS, and 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. Due to the in-depth discussion of real-world system limitations and compromises, it may also be of interest to those in accident reconstruction and product litigation. 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 the most from the material; this course is not intended for individuals with significant pre-existing experience in 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 to typical brake control interventions.


***Please be advised that this course involves one or more of the following: driving and/or riding in a vehicle; participating in a vehicle demonstration; and/or taking part in an offsite tour using outside transportation. You will be required to sign a waiver on-site and produce a valid driver’s license from your state/country of residence.***


"This seminar was extremely well presented. The vehicle dynamic driving characteristics were well presented both on track and off."
Jeffery R. Wingfield
Mechanical Engineer
Crane Engineering


"This course is the quickest most concentrated way to learn chassis control systems while applying classroom to the vehicle evaluation."
Jason Musson
Project Engineer
FT Techno of America


"Excellent opportunity to learn and sense the influence of applied brake and engine controls."
Jeff Laya
Safety Supervisor
Ford Motor Company


"Great learning experience. Perfect mix of theoretical and practical activities."
Rodrigo Gonzalez
Mechanical Engineer
Armor Holdings


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

James Walker, Jr., Edward Bedner, Hugh Patrick Caherty, Deric Frisch, and Erik Maassen

James WalkerJames Walker, Jr. is currently a Principal Engineer specializing in motor vehicle crash reconstruction and chassis, brake, and electronic brake control systems at Carr Engineering, Inc. His prior professional experience includes vehicle dynamics and 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 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 was designated as an SAE Master Instructor. He obtained his B.S.M.E. in 1994 from GMI Engineering & Management Institute

Driving Instructors

Ed Bender Ed Bedner is a senior principal engineer in the field of vehicle dynamics control systems. His professional experiences are in the design and application of active safety systems, including brake controls, steering controls, driver assistance and autonomous systems at General Motors, Delphi, Autoliv, and Qualcomm. Ed has been responsible for the development of algorithms related to the estimation and control of vehicle motion, such as electronic stability control, rollover prevention, adaptive cruise control, and lane-tracking functions. He holds 14 patents and is the author of 3 technical publications. Ed has extensive experience in vehicle handling test methods and measurements, and he is a certified driver at multiple proving grounds and winter test sites. Ed has been a co-instructor for SAE’s Applied Vehicle Dynamics seminar since 2006.

Patrick CahertyPatrick Caherty is a Technical Specialist with 25 years of experience in all aspects of on-road vehicle braking systems.  His professional experiences include application and vehicle-level performance development and verification of electronic brake controls, foundation brakes, and friction materials for a number of global suppliers and vehicle manufacturers. Mr. Caherty earned his BSME and competed in Formula SAE at the University of Maryland, College Park.   He has been a co-instructor for the SAE Applied Vehicle Dynamics and Applied Brake Controls seminars since 2006.

Deric FrischDeric Frisch has worked in the automotive industry for 30 years and holds degrees in Automotive Engineering and Engineering Technology from MCC and Lawrence Technological University. In 1996-1997 he led the Monroe Community College Formula SAE design team with a focus on frame and suspension design. He has been involved with various vehicle development projects while working at Roush Technologies and Faurecia. Deric has been involved with motorsports since 1991 and has competed in various events around the U.S. with the SCCA and World Karting Association. Since 1993 he has been a performance driving instructor with the SCCA and several automotive manufacturers. He has also been a voluntary instructor for A World in Motion (SAE Foundation program) within the Detroit city school system which focuses on STEM principals related to vehicle design. In 2017 he was appointed as an Ambassador for the BMW Car Club of America Foundation with a concentration on further developing the Street Survival teen driving program. He has been a co-instructor for the SAE Applied Vehicle Dynamics seminars since 2018.

Erik MaassenMr. Maassen is also an instructor for the BMW Car Club of America since 2001 providing guidance to High Performance Driver Education students at racetracks around the Midwest. He uses his high performance driving experience to teach students the most efficient and safe path around a racetrack helping them to use the maximum capability of their car and to improve their own skills at the limit of adhesion. In addition, Mr. Maassen invests his driving and engineering experience coaching young drivers through the StreetSurvivial teen car control driving course. With 25 years of Automotive Engineering experience, Mr. Maassen has been enthusiastically supporting the SAE Applied Vehicle Dynamics course since 2006.  His prior professional experience includes application engineering of wheel bearings for SKF and Iljin, as well as product design and test lab management for GT Technologies. He earned a B.M.E in 1989 from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Duration: 2 Days
CEUs: 1.6

Fees: $1999.00

If paying by any other method or if you have general questions, please contact SAE Customer Service.