Basically, there are two types of brake for vehicles: the bell or drum and the disc.
Bell brakes are usually located on the rear wheels of a vehicle, have a simpler manufacturing and allow easy incorporation of the emergency braking mechanism, composed of wires and cables . It is a system that does not allow rapid heat dissipation and the probability of overheating is very high, reducing its braking effectiveness. It is composed of shoes, springs, cylinders and bands. In the mid-30s was incorporated the hydraulic system in this type of brakes, then give way to disc brakes, which have greater braking effectiveness and that is why they are located on the front wheels of the car that are the that stop the vehicle.
The disc brakes are usually located on the front wheels or on the 4 wheels of the vehicle (depending on the manufacturer and the cost of the vehicle) and work by means of hydraulic pressure that allows the movement of some mobile mechanisms inside of cylinders. Press the pads against the face of the disc . The latter are responsible for generating the necessary friction to stop the vehicle.
Over time, the development of automotive engineering has provided technological advances that allow a constant improvement in the braking system of the same. There are the hydraulic brakes(which work by brake fluid pressure); the pneumatic brakes (that work by air pressure and is more used in heavy vehicles); the ABS device (a state-of-the-art braking system that, by means of sensors installed on the rims, emits signals that allow braking a vehicle without the tires or the steering being blocked), braking electronic distribution systems(EBD), which determine how much force to apply on each wheel or axle of the vehicle to stop it at a minimum distance without losing control. They work in conjunction with ABS brakes to dramatically increase braking power, among other functions.