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      Braking the Ice

      Weather from different seasons can bring challenging road conditions, even for professional drivers. Daniel, a Vehicle Test Engineer for Continental Brake Systems, is no stranger to those challenges.

      Daniel’s engineering degree and passion for driving brought him to the automotive industry about ten years ago. His responsibilities include planning, implementing, tracking, and documenting numerous brake test scenarios to ensure critical safety features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control (AYC), and traction control (TCS) are working seamlessly and safely for end users. Especially during emergencies.

      “The ABS module can not only perform your typical stop by applying all four brakes evenly but also has the capability of applying brakes on individual wheels. This seemingly simple task of braking one wheel takes real knowledge and extensive testing to do safely. This is the fundamental principle of stability control and opens a wide array of possibilities in terms of vehicle dynamics,” said Daniel.

      To simulate braking scenarios in harsh winter conditions, Daniel often visits the Continental test facility in northern Michigan, the Brimley Development Center. Here, our team members test Continental brake technologies for extreme circumstances such as heavy snow and ice.

      On a return trip from the test facility, Daniel faced a real-world challenge outside the safety of the test track. “One weekend, I was driving home from the test track during a blizzard. I had been following a truck on a two-lane road but as the conditions worsened, I slowed down further due to poor visibility. Unfortunately, I was no longer able to see the taillights of the truck in front of me. To my surprise, the truck had come to a near-stop on the road to make a turn.”

      Daniel has performed hundreds of ABS double-lane changes throughout his career, and here he was able to utilize that expertise and brake technology to safely avoid a dangerous collision. 

      “I'm so thankful to work on potentially life-saving technology and to see it in action in real-world scenarios. I avoided hitting the truck ahead of me and kept my vehicle on the road. These features are nothing new, and Continental has been making roads safer with these systems for decades, but they prove their worth and I'm fully convinced of the value these systems provide.”