- Continental supports the global megatrends of Electrification and Automated Driving with the second generation of its electro-hydraulic brake system
- MK C2 is more compact, lighter, more economical, and features a multi-logic architecture for an even higher availability and performance level
- Owed to its modular and scalable design, MK C2 is ideally suited for integration into complete platforms, turning the system into a “door opener” for Future Brake Systems and Motion Control solutions
Frankfurt, Germany, November 16, 2021. Technology company Continental has specifically further developed its pioneering generation of the electro-hydraulic brake system MK C1. While it offers a higher availability and higher performance, the MK C2 is more compact and lighter so that it is much easier to integrate into smaller vehicle models and complete vehicle platforms with diverse powertrain concepts and varying installation spaces. The vehicle-specific system application has also been simplified. In addition, the number of components was successfully reduced, and the costs lowered. By moving on to a multi-logic architecture with two independent partitions and thus a redundant fallback level, system availability is increased, which is relevant particularly in view of Automated Driving. Among other aspects, even the base version of the MK C2 offers the function scope for highly automated valet parking.
Like the MK C1, the MK C2 is a so-called “brake-by-wire“ system in which the brake pedal is decoupled from the actual pressure generation. This opens up benefits of rapidly increasing importance: During 80 percent or more of all deceleration events in an electric car, electric power can be generated through regenerative braking when a normal driving style is applied. Still, the brake pedal should always feel the same to the driver, even though the wheel brakes are not actually used. During Automated Driving, on the other hand, the MK C2 with its high level of dynamics can generate brake pressure within a mere 150 milliseconds whenever the automation or a driver assistance system requires pressure. Again, this happens without unsettling the driver by a tangible pedal reaction. MK C2 is designed for Automated Driving according to SAE Level 3 or higher.
“Now that vehicle manufacturers are producing hybrid and electric cars on a large scale, we are offering the MK C2 at exactly the right time,“ said Amit Kapoor, Head of Research & Development of the business unit Vehicle Dynamics at Continental. “Future Brake Systems must continue to support safety, efficiency, comfort and, in the future, more and more additional functions. The MK C2 is perfectly suited for that. The new system generation is compact and lightweight, powerful, and still highly cost-optimized. With its modularity and scalability, it can be integrated in multi-vehicle platforms.“
Future Brake Systems must be capable of more than “just“ decelerating a car safely. They must contribute to the efficiency of the vehicle, and they must meet new requirements for Automated Driving. Part of that is to generate brake pressure very quickly when active driving safety requires it. In an electrified vehicle, the seamless blending of regenerative braking (recuperation) and wheel braking with the MK C2 can increase the recuperation efficiency by up to 30 percent on a hybrid braking system without a simulator pedal. In other words, the MK C2 alone can make it possible to lower the CO2 emissions by up to 5 grams per kilometer.
MK C2 is the enabler for Future Brake Systems and Motion Control solutions. It especially supports the first step forward towards brake systems of the future – the transition to genuine brake-by-wire systems. By fully decoupling pedal and pressure generation without a fallback level, an enormous integration benefit can be harvested: In this way, the brake system does not have to be mounted in a specific spot directly onto the bulkhead any longer to facilitate the mechanical fallback level. Instead, the MK C2 with electronic pedal supports new vehicle concepts with innovative interior designs and cabin dimensions.
As an enabler of Future Brake Systems, MK C2 is consistently modularized and thus scalable. In addition, the application effort required to adapt it to various vehicle segments and models has been significantly reduced thanks to an intelligent modular system. Several system performance levels offer standardized function sets.
Depending on the customer requirements, the MK C2 can be applied with a mechanical pedal (= and a hydraulic fallback level) or with an electronic pedal (= without hydraulic fallback level, i.e., the MK C2 EP variant). In the case of the MK C2 EP variant, the driver steps onto a decoupled electronic brake pedal. Sensors detect the driver’s brake force demand. The system’s electric motor subsequently generates hydraulic pressure.
Thanks to the multi-logic architecture and the redundant fallback level, functions remain available even in the case of a fault so that the driver can be given continuous support. What is more, the parking brake, for instance, can be redundantly controlled which makes a mechanical transmission lock superfluous that otherwise ensures a safe vehicle hold.
Brake systems are becoming increasingly intelligent so they can meet the future needs and requirements of automated driving and electrification; and this in newly conceived vehicles designed with modified architecture. This functional extension requires a profound understanding of the system in order to combine uncompromising safety and sustainability in future brake systems – and in the long term also modular and distributed brake systems.