Continental announced it received its first major order in the third quarter for the mass production of its semi-dry brake system (also known as Future Brake System or FBS 2), valued at approximately €1.5 billion. This order increases the lifetime sales to more than €2 billion for this new system, the company says.
The start of series production with a North American car manufacturer is planned for 2025. The semi-dry brake system introduces electromechanical brakes on the rear axle of a vehicle to operate without brake fluid. The order also includes Continental Air Supply, a highly integrated air supply system used in combination with air springs on the front and rear axles for air suspension.
The MK C2 will begin production in the second half of 2023 at Continental’s Morganton North Carolina location. The facility is celebrating its 30thAnniversary this year. It has long been producing next-generation brake systems for the automotive market, including the MK C1. With the production of MK C2 commencing soon, the facility is positioned to continue growing in its 30th year. The plant will also produce the air springs as part of this major business award.
“We are excited to start seeing the future brake system on the road soon,” said Lutz Kuehnke, head of Safety and Motion Business Area and Vehicle Dynamics, Continental Automotive, North America. “Semi-dry brakes represent the next generation of braking on our product roadmap. Systems like this are essential for drivers to be able to safely access additional electrification and automated driving features.”
The semi-dry system incorporates Continental’s second-generation brake-by-wire system MK C2 with electromechanical brakes on the rear axle. These “dry” brakes do not require brake fluid. On the front axle, the brakes operate hydraulically like a traditional “wet” brake. The system also integrates Continental Air Supply, a highly integrated air supply system used in combination with air springs on the front and rear axles for air suspension.
“With the semi-dry system, there is no longer a need to actuate brakes hydraulically on the rear axle,” added Kuehnke. “That means traditional vehicle architectures can be disrupted to unlock new design opportunities. The system is a key step as we build toward a future where the hydraulic system is eliminated completely.”
Safety is a driving force behind the development of Future Brake Systems, which are primarily used in vehicles with modified architectures. Continental says its system unlocks new design opportunities by enabling the use of smart actuator hardware. The software can then be distributed on any electronic control unit to ensure safety redundancy and design flexibility.