What’s still the best?

Popular Science - - CONTENTS - —ERIC ADAMS, AVI­A­TION, MIL­I­TARY, AND AU­TO­MO­TIVE ED­I­TOR 2002-2007

Af­ter three decades of chron­i­cling in­no­va­tions an­nu­ally, some ob­jects con­tinue to im­press.

“An­tilock-brak­ing sys­tems ex­isted be­fore ABS-VI de­buted but al­ways as ex­pen­sive op­tions on lux­ury and sports cars. This sys­tem, which cost half as much as its pre­de­ces­sors, de­moc­ra­tized one of the most im­por­tant au­to­mo­tive-safety tech­niques ever de­vised. Not only does it do its pri­mary job (al­low­ing driv­ers to re­tain con­trol in a skid) bril­liantly, but the adap­ta­tions of its core brake-puls­ing ca­pa­bil­ity have spawned most mod­ern trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trols. Now ABS is as el­e­men­tal to car-safety tech­nol­ogy as crum­ple zones, backup cam­eras, and airbags. It’s ev­ery driver’s first line of de­fense.”

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