Heavy commercial road vehicles have a longer stopping distance, owing to the inherent time lag associated with the conventional air brake system used in them. In general, electropneumatic brake systems would respond more quickly, resulting in a shorter stopping distance; these are the focus of this study. In an earlier work, the best configuration of the electropneumatic brake system was determined, considering both response and cost perspectives. This study focuses on the development of an experimentally corroborated mathematical model for this brake system. Non-linear model-based deceleration and brake chamber pressure control schemes were subsequently developed and their performance evaluated using a hardware-in-loop system. The model-based analysis and the control schemes presented in this article will assist in the development of advanced and cost-efficient active safety systems for heavy commercial road vehicles. © Institution of Mechanical Engineers.