TMC, PIT Group to explore electromagnetic braking systems

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Updated Mar 18, 2019

After signing a research partnership last fall, the American Trucking Assocaitions’ Technology & Maintenance Council and PIT Group announced they are moving forward with two new joint research projects around fuel savings and emerging braking technologies.

TMC’s Future Truck Committee has identified electromagnetic braking systems as an opportunity for exploration. Jack Legler, TMC technical director, said the emerging systems have the potential to eventually replace conventional air brake systems on today’s tractors and trailers with wired or wireless motor-driven brake actuators at the wheel end.

“We need to see what potential that technology does or doesn’t have in the real world,” said Legler.

The research project will identify existing electromagnetic brake designs and develop prototypes to test on North American Class 8 vehicles on a test track, and if necessary, work with regulators to amend FMVSS-121 to allow for the new brake technologies.

PIT Group also will review and validate existing test data used to develop TMC’s interactive Drive Cycle Calculator. The calculator can be used to evaluate the fuel savings potential of various aerodynamic devices based on test data. “The calculator and research is a way to validate upfront so you can make equipment procurement and sourcing decisions based on a proven model,” said Legler.