WABCO, founded as the Westinghouse Air Brake Company in 1869 by George Westinghouse, is a manufacturer of systems and components for automotive braking, stability, suspension and transmission automation. Its headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium. In 1869, the founder built the first air brake system in the world. Originally, these brakes were employed in the rails in the United States, which eventually were used in the automotive market. This revolutionary invention received great appreciation in the automotive market as it substantially enhanced the braking experience. In 1968, the company was acquired by American Standard Companies Inc. It was in 2007 that WABCO was established as an independent company.
WABCO has many world firsts in its years of history. One cannot go without mentioning WABCO name when it comes to innovations in the automotive market, especially in braking systems. In the company's initial years, George Westinghouse along with Nikola Tesla, a Serbian-American inventor and electrical/mechanical engineer, developed innovative technologies. They built the world's first major hydraulic generators employed in the Niagara River's power plant in 1895. In 1920, WABCO manufactured the first compressed air brakes for automobiles. In 1934, the brand produced air brakes for trucks. The world's first singe and twin-air compressors for trucks were introduced by the company in 1956. In 1976, the brand came up with another experimental design, the anti-lock braking system (ABS) which was also the first of its kind in the commercial vehicle market.
The subsequent decades saw the expansion of the company's range of auto parts. The Traction Control System was added to the line-up of products manufactured by WABCO in 1986. The same year also saw the introduction of the brand's Electronically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) and Pneumatic Transmission Automation System. To reduce the stopping distance and provide an improved braking comfort, the Electronic Braking System (EBS) was released by the company in 1996. In the next two years, the Trailer Electronic Braking System was added to the product range. The millennium year saw the launch of the Roll Stability Support (RSS) for trailers that prevents vehicles from rolling over. In the following year, the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) were released to improve the stability of vehicles. WABCO is the first auto part manufacturer in the world to introduce air-dryer cartridges in 2004. These parts increased the lifetime of the air systems by removing moisture and oil particles. In 2009, the company introduced an innovative design named the Integrated Driveline Pedal Module that combined the features of brake, clutch and throttle mechanisms.
WABCO's Fuel Guard™ Electronic Air Processing Units that include an air dryer, pressure sensors, power reduction and clutch steering features were first produced in 2010. As an appreciation for its dedication towards developing excellent braking products, WABCO was awarded the Daimler Supplier Award in 2012. As hybrid and electric vehicles were slowly emerging in the market, the company started producing Electronic Braking System for these vehicles in 2012.
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