What Is Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)?

Sam McEachern
by Sam McEachern

You might think your car’s braking system is relatively simple.

Once upon a time, when vehicle brakes consisted of drums without ABS, you would have been correct. These days, though, cars, SUVs, and trucks feature advanced braking systems with technology that prevents the brakes from locking up, distributes brake force evenly to all four wheels, and uses the brakes to help the vehicle steer and handle better.

SEE ALSO: What is Automatic Emergency Braking?

In this post, we’re going to explain one of these technologies, Electronic Brake Force Distribution. Often referred to as EBD, this technology is now on all cars with ABS and helps keep commuters and other drivers safe every day.

What Is Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)?

Electronic Brake Force Distribution, or EBD, is a subsystem of the vehicle’s anti-lock braking system and electronic stability control (ESC).

The EBD system uses the vehicle’s ESC and ABS to determine the ideal brake force distribution to all four wheels in a braking event.

EBD also uses the vehicle’s yaw sensor to detect the pitch and roll of the vehicle through a turn. Let’s say the vehicle is making a right turn and experiencing lateral roll, with the vehicle leaning on the left side tires, partially unweighting the inside right tires. In this scenario, the EBD system would adjust the distribution of the brake force to the outside tires, as uniform distribution would lock up the unweighted inside tires.

It can also help with vehicle handling. If you carry too much speed into a corner and begin to understeer (ie. when you apply steering input but the vehicle continues to plow straight), the EBD system will apply the necessary braking input to straighten it out and slow it down slightly. In other words, these systems apply the brakes to the low-traction tires, absorbing the torque that would otherwise be sent there to improve vehicle control.

These systems work so seamlessly that most drivers would never notice they are there. When you’re applying the brakes through a corner, say on a highway off-ramp or even trail braking into a corner on the track, your EBD system is automatically working to ensure that each wheel is getting the proper amount of braking force based on the pressure applied to each tire and helping you stay in control.

ALSO SEE: CVT Transmission Pros and Cons

Do All Cars Today Offer EBD?

Yes, most modern day cars with ABS and ESC will also have some sort of EBD system that will distribute the brake force evenly based on the driving situation. Even the Mitsubishi Mirage, which starts at just under $14,000 in the U.S., comes equipped with ABS, ESC, and EBD.

SEE ALSO: Why Regular Brake Pads Stop Working When Things Get Hot

Modern day vehicles are beginning to go a step further with regards to safety, offering standard backup cameras and collision avoidance technology, so safety technology like ABS, ESC and EBD is really the bare minimum these days. The chances are good that your car has all three of these technologies.

We hope this answers any questions you may have on electronic brake force distribution. For related reading, check out our article What is Traction Control?.

Sam McEachern
Sam McEachern

Sam McEachern holds a diploma in journalism from St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario, and has been covering the automotive industry for over 5 years. He conducts reviews and writes AutoGuide's news content. He's a die-hard motorsports fan with a passion for performance cars of all sorts.

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