Friedrichshafen, Germany – ZF has launched an industry first front electric park brake, extending the range of electric park brake (EPB) systems to a wider range of vehicles. With this solution, car manufacturers can now equip smaller vehicles with an advanced braking system and design their interior without the classic handbrake lever or park brake pedal.
What is now commonplace in upper, medium and compact class vehicles thanks to an EPB was previously very difficult for designers of small and very small cars: the elimination of the handbrake lever in the cockpit.
With the series production of the industry’s first front EPB, ZF now allows this technology to be installed in smaller car classes. For example, the manual brake lever can be replaced by a compact switch, creating more space in the interior and greater freedom for interior design. Start of series production is currently taking place in Korea and China.
Manfred Meyer, senior vice president, engineering for ZF’s Active Safety Division commented, “ZF’s front EPB technology is a real industry innovation. Even manufacturers of small and very small cars can now use the EPB with all its advantages. Car drivers benefit from enhanced safety and comfort.”
Enhanced functions for small cars thanks to ZF´s front EPB
In addition to the classic park brake function, the EPB also facilitates hill starts, for example, with the auto-hold function. In city traffic or traffic jams, the braking system also significantly increases driving comfort thanks to the stop-and-go function. In addition, the higher static load distribution on the front axle supports enhanced safety for parking the vehicle on slippery slopes.
ZF’s front axle EPB eliminates the components needed for manual park brake operation within rear drum- and disc brakes and requires only small modifications to the front axle calipers while integrating the necessary electronic components and software into an existing electronic-stability control unit. This can further reduce vehicle system weight of the rear manual park brake system.
“It’s a further example of how ZF adapts technology that has been successful in the market to specific vehicle and market requirements. In this way, we transfer the product advantages of the electric parking brake to other vehicle segments,” Meyer concluded.
ZF pioneered electric park brake technology on the rear axle in 2001 and has supplied well over 75 million vehicles with EPB for world roadways.