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The employee magazine
of the Volkswagen brand

Innovation

Stops even without a lever

The Electronic Parking Brake doesn’t take up much space – which leaves room for some new functions.

Making a hill start was the hardest challenge to master back in driving school. It involved slowly releasing the clutch and stepping on the gas before carefully releasing the parking brake – which wasn’t usually easy when it had been fully activated. The Electronic Parking Brake no longer features a lever. The driver uses a small button in the dashboard to activate the assistant. It operates by means of two geared electric motors on the rear disc brakes, while also keeping the vehicle from rolling away when the battery is switched off or empty. An indicator lamp in the instrument cluster and another in the button tell the driver whether the parking brake is activated. The driver either presses this button, or pushes down on the gas pedal, in order to release the parking brake.

The assistant also plays an essential role for other driver assistance functions where it is important that the vehicle does not start rolling away of its own accord when the driver has already exited the function. The Electronic Parking Brake is therefore combined with the Auto Hold Function to prevent the vehicle from unintentionally rolling away when at a standstill or when setting off on a hill, making this safer and more convenient for the driver, who does not need to continually apply the brakes. Incidentally, it will be possible to use Dynamic Hill Start Assist for hill starts in future – allowing the driver simply to drive off without having to release the Electronic Parking Brake first.

“The Electronic Parking Brake has evolved from a mere replacement for the mechanical parking brake into a key component of the driver assistance systems. It is now also available in vehicles in the Golf and Polo classes, and is therefore well-suited to Volkswagen’s strategy of democratizing driver assistance systems,” explains developer Holger Hagedorn.

THE EXPERT


Holger Hagedorn (51) joined Volkswagen in 1991 after gaining a degree in Physics. He is currently head of the EFF division, and responsible for steering and braking systems.