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Definition: ABS


(1) (Automatic Backup System) See backup software.

(2) (Anti-lock Braking System) The automatic takeover of a vehicle's brakes when skidding on the road is detected. In a skid, the immediate reaction by most people is to slam on the brakes, which makes the vehicle skid even faster. ABS pumps the brakes very quickly in a jackhammer-like motion even if the driver's foot is firmly pressed on the brake pedal. ABS was added to automobiles in the early 1970s, although it had been used on aircraft in the 1950s. ABS and similar skid-prevention systems were the first automated driving features in vehicles. See self-driving car.