TRW has unveiled its integrated Electric Park Brake (EPBi) system. EPBi removes the requirement for a separate Electronic Control Unit (ECU) due to its integration with the electronic stability control system.

Dr. Dirk Kesselgruber, TRW’s senior chief engineer for EPB systems, said: “This new technology creates the opportunity for systems integration at a higher level. While EPB requires a separate control unit, EPBi integrates the necessary electronic components and software into an existing control unit in the vehicle, thereby eliminating the need for an extra control unit in the system network.”

The EPBi system, as with TRW’s production EPB system, helps to enhance driving safety and comfort and provides greater freedom in interior design and packaging, TRW says.

The system is a fully integrated part of the braking system, which makes four-wheel anti-lock braking functionality possible during emergency braking. EPB and EPBi include additional functions such as ‘Drive Away Assist’, automatic hill hold and electronically controlled deceleration – features which are not available with conventional mechanical park brake systems.

Kesselgruber added: “The real benefits of EPBi compared to EPB are the reduction of system complexity, weight and installation effort, in addition to offering vehicle manufacturers a potential cost reduction resulting from the elimination of the ECU. It’s a further example of how TRW is making advanced safety technologies more affordable for a wider range of vehicle segments.”

TRW launched its EPB system in 2002 and now produces over 1.5 million units annually. TRW’s EPBi system anticipates start of production in 2011.