Hitachi Automotive Systems is introducing a new heavy duty automated parking brake (APB HD) designed for pickup trucks, vans, SUVs and light commercial vehicles.

Developed by the company’s brake business unit in Europe, the new brake system already has gone into production in North America and Europe.

Several customers introduced the new brake system on new vehicles in September in Europe and October in North America. The brake system will go into production in the Asia-Pacific region in 2021.

The supplier said the automated parking brakes account for more than 25% of the global market for parking brakes and their popularity continues to grow.

With its acquisition last year of Chassis Brakes International, Hitachi Automotive Systems claims now to be the third largest supplier of automated parking brakes worldwide based on its own analysis of the market.

The new brake system is suited for a variety of pickup trucks, vans, SUVs, and light commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating at or below 3.5 tons. It offers a considerable weight advantage compared to other systems, such as electric drum-in-hat where it can save 6.6 pounds (3 kg) or more.

“Our new system benefits from the latest developments in APB safety and system management and extends the use of this technology to a much broader range of vehicles,” said Bernd Schemer, head of the brake business unit.

Schemer noted that in addition to weight savings Hitachi’s automated parking brakes also provide automakers with a variety of other advantages such as improved safety, robustness and autonomous driving functions, including automated valet parking (AVP).

Hitachi APBs also are optimised for future e-mobility noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) requirements.