TRW Automotive will bring the weight savings and diverse functions of its electric park brake (EPB) technology to the light truck market beginning with a first to market introduction on a high volume North American platform in 2017.

"Extending the range of our electric park brake to light trucks and sport utility vehicles is important for several reasons," said Ed Carpenter, vice president and general manager of TRW's global braking business. "EPB can save more than 20 pounds per vehicle for larger trucks and SUVs when compared to conventional drum in hat park brakes - leading to  enhanced fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions."

"In addition shifting from a mechanically controlled to an electronically controlled solution enables many new functions that can work with other vehicle systems to add value for consumers. For example EPB can work in conjunction with electronic stability control to help allow for safer emergency stops by preventing wheel lock, or help relieve fatigue in traffic jam situations by holding the vehicle stationary when needed and allowing the vehicle to move forward when safe to proceed," Carpenter said.

Further advantages include freeing up interior cabin space through the elimination of levers or foot pedals used to engage mechanical park brakes as well as the brake cabling - all replaced by a simple button or switch and electronic wiring. This simplifies vehicle assembly, allows for more flexible interior design and saves more weight.

TRW is a pioneer in electronic parking brake technology and has more than 50m EPB callipers on world roadways. The heavy duty EPB solution features higher clamp loads - from 18.5 kilonewtons (kN) for larger passenger cars, light trucks and mid-size SUVs - to the heavy duty version with a 25kN clamp load.