By on January 14, 2008

frank-zhao.JPGChinese automaker Geely introduced a new technology today they call BMBS. The system uses tire pressure sensors to tell the brakes when and how much pressure to apply to stop the car safely when a tire blows out. So why introduce it at an auto show where they're one of the smallest fish in the pond? To prove wrong the naysayers who "don't believe that China can innovate" according to Geely chairman Li Shufu. I tried to find out just how innovative the system is. When I asked Dr Frank Zhao, Geely's VP and chief tech officer, how BMBS compares to the active suspension from other companies, he said it didn't because it's unique. When I asked about its merits over active suspension, he didn't want to discuss it and tried his best to dismiss any questions I asked. I did manage to find out he's right about one thing: it's in no way comparable to active suspension. It turns out it has no yaw sensors and can't control a skid unless a tire's circumference is changing. You have to admit that's unique!

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18 Comments on “Geely Introduces “Breakthrough” to Prevent “Blowout Disasters”...”


  • avatar
    Cicero

    BMBS? As in “bombs”? That has to be the most unfortunate automotive acronym since Toyota Racing Division started calling themselves TRDs.

  • avatar

    Well, that’s one way to prove you’re an innovator…evade questions about said innovations.

    Bravo!

  • avatar
    Voice of Sweden

    Well, perhaps they could team up with Tessla?

  • avatar
    rpn453

    I don’t want to be a passenger in any vehicle where the driver can’t easily handle a blow out himself!

  • avatar

    What happens when you put runflats on your Geely?

  • avatar
    shaker

    The automotive world has been seeking this feature for decades; the bar has been raised by the humble Geely…

    What does this thing do again?

  • avatar

    shaker: it’ll notice the wheel speed change (from change in tire circumference) and fix it. As a stand alone feature, ABS notices a wheel that locks up but doesn’t catch a loss of air pressure which makes it spin faster than the other three wheels.

    Which is fine and dandy…

    But Hyundai (and everyone else) has electronic stability control which works in any panic situation, including this.

    I firmly believe Geely needs to show some love for the yaw sensor and catch up with the rest of the automotive community.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    ABS can notice a decrease in circumference as an increase in speed. How it processes that info is up to the software. This is really just an ABS system with an aspect of entry-level traction control added.

    I call BS on this BM.

  • avatar
    doctorv8

    I think you meant “active handling,” not “active suspension.” Active handling, though, it GM’s buzzword for DSC (BMW)/ESP (MB)/etc….just call it stability control, please. ;-)

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    Does Mitsubishi supply parts to Geely? They seem to supply them to every single other Chinese start-up. It’s actually kind of sad, though I suppose they’re making bank by doing so. Anyway, the reason I ask is because Mitsubishi once manufactured a proto-stability control system they called “Trace Control.” My 2002 Diamante has this feature. It has no yaw sensors, instead it detects changing wheel speeds from side to side (just like the Geely system) and reacts through brake use and fuel injection. It’s a pretty competent system, though by no means nearly as advanced as yaw-based systems. It’s rather hard to activate, and doesn’t react unless the wheels are way out of sync. It certainly could be envisioned to help in a blow-out situation (we all know how common those are in this era of tubeless tires!), but doesn’t do anything at all when you’re sliding sideways in the snow or on ice, on a wet road, or anything else. It really just reacts slightly by killing your momentum when entering a corner too quickly, mostly in a dry situation. It seems to me this system smacks heavily of the little-known Mitsubishi system, which is far from innovative as it’s been in production since the second-generation Diamante was unveiled in Asian markets in 1995.

  • avatar
    L47_V8

    More info from Wikipedia about Trace Control (I was wrong about its age – it’s been in production since the first Diamante debuted in Japan in 1990!!):

    In 1990, Mitsubishi released the Diamante (Sigma) in Japan. It featured a new electronically controlled active trace & traction control system (the first integration of these two systems in the world) that Mitsubishi developed. Simply named TCL in 1990, the system has now evolved into Mitsubishi’s modern Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC) system. Developed to help the driver maintain the intended line through a corner; an onboard computer monitored several vehicle operating parameters through various sensors. When too much throttle has been used when taking a curve, engine output and braking are automatically regulated to ensure the proper line through a curve and to provide the proper amount of traction under various road surface conditions. While conventional traction control systems at the time featured only a slip control function, Mitsubishi’s newly developed TCL system had a preventive (active) safety function which improved the course tracing performance by automatically adjusting the traction force (called “trace control”) thereby restraining the development of excessive lateral acceleration while turning. Although not a ‘proper’ modern stability control system, trace control monitors steering angle, throttle position and individual wheel speeds although there is no yaw input. The TCL system’s standard wheel slip control function enables better traction on slippery surfaces or during cornering. In addition to the TCL system’s individual effect, it also works together with Diamante’s electronic controlled suspension and four-wheel steering that Mitsubishi had equipped to improve total handling and performance. The Diamante won the Car of the Year Japan award in 1990–1991.

  • avatar
    crc

    Forget BMBS and lost air pressure. I’m waiting for someone to develop a system to automatically lower the windows when there is a loss of intestinal gasses.

  • avatar

    jazbo123: you’re right, ABS wheel sensors and exciter rings can detect wheel speed differences and compensate. So why bother asking the tire pressure monitors for their help?

    Someone (with more than my 2 years of engineering time) help me out here, I must be missing something.

  • avatar
    jazbo123

    Actually some [early?] versions of tire pressure monitors used wheel speed differential as their primary sensing input.

    Forget BMBS and lost air pressure. I’m waiting for someone to develop a system to automatically lower the windows when there is a loss of intestinal gasses.

    Doesn’t the LS460 have that?

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Chinese Made Products are POOR Quality.

    How long did your Made in China Products lasted?
    Probably about a year or less

    We Americans keep on sending Machinery and Other Machines to China when their products are poor quality. Cheap Labor is Cheap quality products.

    I haven’t been buying Made in China products lately, I always check the tag before I buy them.

    I rather buy products that are made in Mexico or from other countries but China not in my life time

  • avatar
    cars

    Chinese Made Products are POOR Quality.

    How long did your Made in China Products lasted?
    Probably about a year or less

    We Americans keep on sending Machinery and Other Machines to China when their products are poor quality. Cheap Labor is Cheap quality products.

    I haven’t been buying Made in China products lately, I always check the tag before I buy them.

    I rather buy products that are made in Mexico or from other countries but China not in my life time

    Mexico cannot even make a TV set, let alone producing anything, so ye feel free to buy Mexican and good luck with that, we’ll see how long that will last :)

  • avatar
    cars

    How long did your Made in China Products lasted?

    To answer this question, just simply turn to the back of your mobile phones, keyboard (you’re typing on now), TV, computers, Iphone, Ipod, MP3 players…. and read the label.

  • avatar
    cars

    For those who doubt this

    Here is the video to prove it

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqxNXSDnWiA

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