Who Invented ABS Brakes?

by Chris Moore

ABS brakes (Anti-lock Braking System) have been around since the late 1920s, although it wasn't until several years later that they were successfully developed for cars. Multiple people, starting with Gabriel Voisin, contributed to developing the ABS, which was first created for airplanes.


Gabriel Voisin invented the first anti-lock brakes in 1929 to solve the problem airplanes had with braking, as it is almost impossible to threshold brake on an aircraft.

Time Frame

It took nearly a decade after the first ABS brakes for cars were developed in the 1960s until the first reliable such brakes were invented.


The British-based Jensen FF and Ford Zodiac were the first commercial vehicles with ABS brakes, but were expensive. and unreliable. The 1971 Chrysler Imperial had the first reliable system with the Bendix Corporation's "Sure Brake" system.


General Motors added its "Trackmaster" anti-lock system in 1971 as an option on rear-wheel drive Cadillacs. Robert Bosch and Teldix's first for-wheel ABS brakes debuted in 1978 on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.


The first electronic/hydraulic ABS brakes for motorcycles debuted in 1988 with the BMW K100. Within 10 years, Honda and Suzuki launched motorcycles with anti-lock brakes.

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