Browse Learn PD130501ON

Introduction to Brake Control Systems PD130501ON

In this course, James Walker, Jr. delves into brake control technology. Starting with the fundamentals of the tire-road interface, this course introduces participants to brake control system mechanization, system sensor needs, and the basic control strategies employed by anti-lock braking systems (ABS), traction control systems (TCS), electronic stability control systems (ESC), and their derivatives.

Limiting factors and compromises that must be made in the design and development of brake control systems are covered through a brief review of hydraulic brake system functionality, the friction circle concept, and the fundamentals of longitudinal and lateral vehicle dynamics. Brake control system integration with other vehicle on-board technologies are also discussed.

Based on the popular classroom seminar, the nine and a half hour course is divided into 13 modules accompanied by a handbook. Walker revisits key concepts in a summary at the end of the course to reinforce learning and retention.


By participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Define basic tire-road interface characteristics and performance limits
  • Analyze brake system design parameters and their vehicle performance effects
  • Evaluate the compromises between stability, steerability, and stopping distance
  • Discern the discrete mechanical components of the ABS subsystem
  • Compare ABS sensor technologies and packaging strategies
  • Specify fundamental ABS performance attributes
  • Develop basic DRP operating requirements
  • Explain the additional mechanization needs of TCS and ESC
  • Contrast the additional sensors required for TCS and ESC
  • Reconcile TCS performance expectations vs. method of implementation
  • Interpret ESC metrics and ultimate limitations
  • Identify special conditions and considerations which can impact performance
  • Discuss opportunities for advanced brake control system integration

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of single-user access (from date of purchase) to the 9.5 hour course
  • Links to streaming video modules
  • Course handbook (downloadable, .pdf's)
  • Instructor follow up to your content questions
  • 1.0 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (with satisfactory learning assessment score)
*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Is this e-Seminar for You?

This course was developed for engineers involved in all disciplines related to the design or development of vehicle braking systems, vehicle dynamics, powertrain systems, or chassis/suspension systems. A basic knowledge of college algebra, college physics, and a familiarity with vehicle foundation brake system functionality is required.


Individuals new to the field of brake control systems will benefit most from the material; this course is not intended for individuals with significant background in, or 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.


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

This course satisfies a requirement in both the Vehicle Dynamics and Accident Reconstruction Certificate Programs.

Have colleagues who need this course? See Special Offers to the right.

Click on the Requirements tab to make sure you are properly equipped to interact with this course.

For More Details

Email, or call 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 724-776-4970 (outside US and Canada).

Related Topics
Click on each topic for an expanded view.
  • Tire-Road Interface Characteristics
  • Hydraulic Brake System Overview
  • Stability, Steerability, Stopping Distance
  • Mechanization of ABS
  • ABS Sensor Overview
  • ABS Performance
  • DRP Performance
  • Mechanization of TCS and ESC
  • TCS and ESC Sensor Requirements
  • TCS Performance
  • ESC Performance
  • Special Conditions and Considerations
  • Advanced Integration

  • Windows 7, 8 (Apple OSX and Unix/Linux are not supported but may work)
  • Pentium 4 PC
  • Minimum 512 MB RAM; recommended 1 GB RAM
  • Internet Explorer 10-11, Mozilla Firefox 37 , Google Chrome 42 (Safari and Opera are not supported)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum

Joe J. Doe
James E. Walker

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 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 awarded the SAE Master Instructor designation. Mr. Walker obtained his B.S.M.E. in 1994 from GMI Engineering & Management Institute.

1 CEUs


"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

"This was an excellent technical description of all SCS systems, even for experienced engineers."
Alexandre Evrard
Product Engineer
TRW Automotive

"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.

"Very technical while at the same time easy to understand."
Ronald Chapp
Senior Engineer

Access Period:90 Days

Duration: 9.5 Hours
Members save up to 20% off list price.
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Special Offers: Have colleagues who need this course? Purchase access for one individual at the appropriate member or list price, then purchase access for up to four additional employees at 10% off the list price. Contact SAE Customer Service to arrange online access for all individuals at the same time or mention the confirmation number for the first purchase. The offer is good for only the same e-Seminar. All participants will receive a personal account and opportunity for CEUs.



Quantity discounts for six or more students and corporate access options also are available - complete a Corporate Learning Solutions Request Form for a quote.