TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. is forecasting—based on vehicle manufacturer data—that Electric Park Brake (EPB) technology will be standard on one in five of all European-built vehicles by 2015. Its projections also show that approximately half of the mid- to larger-sized European passenger cars will have EPB in this timeframe, while the technology will continue to penetrate other regions.
|TRW anticipates further growth for its Electric Park Brake system that enhances safety and fuel savings for passenger vehicles. Click to enlarge.|
Many automakers in Europe have already fit the system—first launched by TRW in 2001—on one or more models, including: BMW’s 5 Series, 6 Series Coupe, X3, and Z4; Ford Galaxy and S-Max, Volvo S60, S80, V60, V70, XC 60, and XC70; Renault Megane and Scenic; and Volkswagen Automotive Group’s Audi Q5, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, VW Tiguan, Sharan, Model CC, Passat and Passat Coupe.
The EPB system, utilizing electrical cables and a control switch, simplifies routing and allows for greater freedom of design for vehicle interiors. Its smaller package becomes even more attractive as vehicle manufacturers continue to requisition vehicle space for new features and options and it can significantly reduce weight when compared to conventional park brake systems.—Josef Pickenhahn, TRW vice president, braking engineering
In addition to providing parking brake functionality, EPB is a fully integral part of the brake system with features such as dynamic actuation and brake pad wear sensing technology. It also offers enhanced quality and reliability when compared with mechanical systems. EPB also significantly enhances safety in emergency stop situations with full four-wheel anti-lock functionality versus standard park brake emergency braking, which only functions on the rear axle, TRW notes.
The EPB functions as a conventional hydraulic brake for standard service brake applications, and as an electric brake for parking and emergency braking.