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Video: Brake Override in Action

Videos | March 8th, 2010 by 6
electronic_throttle_butterfly_control

BMW’s electronic throttle butterfly control. Toyota’s recent problems with sudden unintended acceleration have caused a lot of controversy in the automotive world and everyone is …

Video: Brake Override in Action

BMW’s electronic throttle butterfly control.

Toyota’s recent problems with sudden unintended acceleration have caused a lot of controversy in the automotive world and everyone is doing a root cause analysis. New York Times reached out to BMW North America for a demonstration on how the electronic brake override system works in a BMW.

Here is an excerpt and a video from the NYT article:

“I was on an access road at the BMW headquarters in a 2009 BMW 335i Coupe with Thomas Plucinsky, a BMW spokesman, at the wheel. I wanted to experience brake override myself. Mr. Plucinsky wound the car up to 60 miles per hour and, with his right foot still delivering full throttle, hit the brake pedal hard, triggering a full anti-lock brake stop.

We left strips of rubber on the road and stopped in something less than 150 feet, with a lot of noise but not much other drama. As my stomach became steadily queasier, we tried it twice more with the same results — the car came to a quick halt. Mr. Plucinsky also demonstrated that the brake override would not be triggered by a “racing start” with a full throttle held back by firm braking. Asked how the system distinguishes between intended driver technique and an emergency situation, he said, “Now you’re getting into proprietary areas.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

    Haha the video has a 1 star rating. Did Viper ninja view it already?

  • http://www.facebook.com/joakim.leufstedt Joakim Leufstedt

    EHm, not good if youre left foot braking … :S

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

      Huh? The car they used was an automatic, so he braked with his left foot. What do you mean not good?

  • Laszlo

    so what is it good for ? I don’t get it ? if you press the gas pedal and brake the same time ? Why would anybody do that ? Does BMW think that all people are idiots ?
    I’m a left foot breaker since my gokart years and if I accelerate I accelerate but when I brake I hit the brake hard with the left foot but never left my foot on the accelerator.
    I don’t get this gizmo… just an another thingy that could break or go wrong… an answer to a question nobody has asked yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1055790044 Alvin Wong

      The purpose of the brake override is for cases of unintended acceleration. If something like that were to occur, suddenly stomping on the brakes will override the accelerator and will apply full force ABS-assisted braking to bring the car to a halt.

      The only reason why the rep from BMW was left foot braking was because he was simulating a stuck throttle. It was the only way to keep the engine going to simulate unintended acceleration.

  • James

    Wow… If you have absolutely no concept on how a cars systems operate (Laszlo), you shouldn’t leave comments that show us all how ignorant you really are on the topic :-) Thanks Alvin for explaining that in detail so he could understand…

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