How ABS works: there are sensors fitted on all four wheels which detect the rotational speed of each wheel and pass this information on to a central control unit. If the critical point of blocking the wheels is reached, the wheel is stopped at precisely that threshold by pressure variation. The brake pressure can be increased and decreased numerous times in the space of a second.
When braking, all the forces acting on the wheels and the rolling behaviour are continually monitored. The braking forces acting on the wheels are distributed in such a way that no wheel can lock, and the steerability of the vehicle is preserved as far as possible.
In December 1970, Mercedes-Benz presented the world's first electronically controlled ABS – a revolution in driving and road safety. Thanks to targeted electronic braking intervention, the wheels don't lock for long periods of time. The risk of losing steering stability is minimised and, in the case of a full application of the brakes, the vehicle can be steered in the desired direction. ABS technology forms the basis for further developed electronic safety systems such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP®) or the Brake Assist system (BAS).