For as much technology that is packed into the modern vehicle, some things have stayed very much the same for a very long time. Think windshield wipers, tires and other essential systems. There isn’t a lot of room for innovation, but we’re starting to see the beginning of evolution.
Today, however, we’re talking about brake systems, specifically the tried-and-true vacuum brake system. Vehicles have, and still use, a brake master cylinder and vacuum pump to ease pedal travel and assist in applying the brakes. ZF says it has engineered a new way to brake.
According to Road Show, ZF has crafted what it calls the Integrated Brake Controller, or IBC. It’s a single piece system that does away with the parts mentioned above. It weights dozens of pounds less, and can be coupled with regenerative qualities, a quality found in many hybrid and electric vehicles of today.
Where does General Motors fit into this? The General is rumored to use the first application of IBC in its SUVs and pickup trucks by 2020. ZF stated an automaker is on schedule to use the system by 2018, but that doesn’t coordinate well with GM’s plan for an all-new generation of body-on-frame SUVs and trucks for 2020. GM did not comment on the matter.
ZF stated the system is twice the cost of a commonplace braking system, meaning high-volume, high-price trucks and SUVs do seem like a likely home for the technology first and foremost.