The FCA Breakdown on Advanced Braking Technology
By Eric Mayne, FCA
It’s no secret that alert drivers are better able to avoid collisions than those who are unready.
Now imagine how such preparedness might translate to a vehicle. What if its brakes went on heightened alert when a collision appeared imminent?
That’s basically what happens with Full-speed Forward Collision Warning-Plus (FSFCW+), a safety feature available on 13 FCA US vehicles – from the Fiat 500X small crossover to the Dodge Durango fullsize SUV.
When the system’s radar and camera combine to detect a potential frontal collision with the rear of another vehicle moving in same direction, it pre-pressurizes the brakes to help increase the rate of deceleration – provided the driver deploys them before impact.
In such a scenario, once the driver hits the brakes, FSFCW+ also assesses the degree of force applied to the pedal. If the system determines this force is insufficient, Advance Brake Assist kicks in and automatically helps to increase brake force, which better accommodates deceleration – a key mitigator of impact severity.
So, what about inclement weather? A driver can pop an umbrella, but can vehicles respond when the sky opens up?
FCA US has them covered with Rain Brake Support, which is standard equipment on eight vehicles, including the all-new 2017 Jeep Compass small SUV.
Brakes comprise three key components – rotors, calipers and pads. The calipers press the pads against the rotors, which are affixed to the wheel.
The resulting friction reduces wheel speed, which slows the vehicle. But wet rotors can reduce friction; that’s where Rain Brake Support comes in.
When certain vehicle sensors detect rain, the system automatically sends intermittent signals to the calipers which push the pads lightly against the rotors – hard enough to scrape off water, but not so hard that it reduces wheel speed.
When it comes to advanced braking technology, FCA US pulls out all the stops.