To provide the fastest possible assistance at airports, the PANTHER has a correspondingly high engine power and acceleration values. One of the many requirements is to quickly deliver large amounts of extinguishing agent to any location at the airport. Arriving safely at the destination is a prerequisite for smooth operations. The PANTHER’s new electronic EBS brake system and the new ESC vehicle dynamics control set new standards in passenger and driver safety for ARFF vehicles.
Self-protection is of utmost importance for fire departments. As a daily “working tool” of airport fire departments, the PANTHER must support firefighters in their work in the best possible way. Be it in terms of ergonomics, operation, or as a safe working environment. History has shown that the vehicles of emergency organizations are not exempt from accidents, whether on the road or at the airport itself.
A crash-tested cab, a low center of gravity for improved cornering stability, rollover airbags and intuitive and simple operation already assist the PANTHER’s driver. The new PANTHER 6×6 and 8×8 achieve a new level of safety with the new Electronic Braking System (EBS) with Electronic Stability Control (ESC).
EBS – Electronic Braking System
EBS works with electronic signals. The driver’s deceleration request is conveyed by a control unit to the electronic components of the braking system. The electronic control achieves significantly shorter response and threshold times on the brake cylinders. The electronics allow comfortable braking, regardless of the load, and the faster response time also results in a much shorter braking distance. Load-dependent brake distribution additionally reduces wear on the brake pads and discs. In the event of a possible failure of the electronic control system, all valves work together simultaneously, as with a conventional pneumatic system.
ESC – Electronic Stability Control
ESC is an active electronic driving stability control system that assists the driver in critical driving situations. With the help of information from a range of sensors, ESC identifies such critical driving situations and, if necessary, actively corrects them. With ESC, track stabilization (yaw control) can be carried out without loss of cornering stability (understeer or oversteer) through targeted braking forces applied to individual wheels. This allows ESC to assist the driver in critical driving situations and prevent accidents. In addition, through the continuous measurement of the lateral acceleration of the vehicle, the system can effectively prevent impending roll stability control issues by reducing the engine’s torque and performing active braking interventions.
The system has been extensively tested on a wide variety of surfaces – the endurance tests for the vehicle and EBS/ESC in Rovaniemi, Finland were a particular highlight in this respect. At double-digit minus temperatures in snow and ice, the EBS and ESC were put through their paces.
How this looked in real life as well as more details about the system, can be seen in the following video:
What do you think about safety systems like EBS / ESC in firefighting vehicles?