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What is electronic brake force distribution or EBD?

EBD is part of a suite of braking and stability technologies which work together to maximise braking performance.

Among the vast fields of three-letter acronyms used in cars today is one that has vitally serious importance. 

EBD is one of the most important pieces of safety technology in modern cars, but what does it stand for? It is Electronic Brake-force Distribution, otherwise known as Electronic Brake-force Limitation (EBL).

So what is Electronic Brake-force Distribution?

The Electronic Brake-force Distribution system is a combination of electronic and hydraulic technology that varies the pressure applied to the brakes at each corner of the car to provide stronger and safer braking performance in emergency situations.

EBD brakes are part of what is considered active safety equipment, as they help prevent a crash from happening.

How does Electronic Brake-force Distribution work? EBD is part of a suite of braking and stability safety technologies which all work together to not only maximise braking performance, but to ensure the car never gets out of control. 

EBD does this by being a key sub-system of both the anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) technologies. 

Electronic Stability Control systems use a yaw sensor, which senses a vehicle’s rotation around its vertical axis, along with a sensor to read steering input. 

Through a complex algorithm programmed into it, the ESC system knows when there is too much or too little yaw rate compared to the amount of steering input being used, which indicates when a car is understeering (ploughing ahead, not turning the corner), or oversteering (the rear of the car steps out and tries to overtake the front).

Once the ESC system knows the vehicle is losing control it can apply brake pressure - using the EBD system - to individual wheels to safely bring the car back into line and avoid a crash. 

In-car technology like EBD has progressed massively over the years, thanks to improvements in the processing speed of computers and huge improvements in the sensor technology that reads grip levels. 

EBD can also respond to differences in wheel weights, road conditions, or braking situations much faster than the driver can sense them, and EBD can also vary pressure on individual wheels - which the driver can't. This greatly improves braking performance. 

Most vehicles on sale today that offer ESC and ABS will also offer EBD technology as part of the safety suite.

Is a EBD program the most vital piece of safety equipment a car can offer? Tell us in the comments below.