The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is one of several computer assisted braking systems that have come into widespread use in production automobiles since its adoption in the 1970s. Computer assisted breaking systems have evolved to include not only the ABS function (which prevents the brakes from locking), but also electronic control of the front-to-rear bias (EBD), traction control (TCS or ASR), electronic stability control (ESC, ESP or DSC), and emergency brake assist (EBA, BA or HBA), amongst others.
Electronic Stability Control systems (ESP or ESC) are an evolution of ABS systems. Additional sensors allow the ESP to detect whether the direction the car takes coincides with that intended by the steering wheel. If not, the ESP brakes the necessary individual wheel or wheels so that the vehicle goes in the intended direction.
The continuing advances in brake technologies have dramatically improved braking performance and safety. But if the brakes have design or manufacturing flaws, even the most advanced technologies will not prevent a potentially dangerous situation. And as the complexity of braking systems increases, so does the number of ways they can fail. If the computer malfunctions due to substandard workmanship, for instance, the brakes may engage when they shouldn't. Conversely, the computer may prevent the brakes from functioning at all.
As automobiles adopt more complex and "integrated" safety systems, defective automobile litigation increasingly focuses on the automobile's overall "crashworthiness". The concept of crashworthiness refers to how all the safety systems in a vehicle work together to protect its passengers.
Automobiles and defective automobile litigation is becoming ever more complex, and automobile manufacturers have large teams of attorneys that represent them. If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident as the result of a faulty computer assisted baking system, your chances of receiving damages and compensation in a lawsuit are greatly improved if you have a qualified and experienced defective automobile attorney working diligently on your behalf.