Move Over Manual Transmission…the Handbrake is History Too
If you’ve been in a modern Ford these days, you’ll notice that the old-fashioned handbrake has been replaced with a little button. It seems the traditional handbrake is disappearing faster than the manual transmission, and leaving parking lot hooners without a way to get their slide on. It’s disappearing for a reason, and this is why.
It seems not too many people actually use the handbrake for its intended purpose. Auto manufacturers don’t view it as big of a safety concern as they did in the past. While we’re unsure on that one, it is at least a plausible explanation.
Additionally, a button is much smaller than a lever. The 2015 Mustang still retains the handle handbrake, but cars like the C7 Corvette have ditched the lever for a button.
Cars like the Tesla Model S don’t even have a button. When you put the car in park the brake automatically engages, and then automatically disengages when it needs to. Some cars with the button can be programmed in the computer to automatically engage and disengage it as well.
Auto makers can do more with the interior and the center console if they don’t have to work around a giant handbrake. It’s the same reason why some manufacturers are using push-button or rotary gear selectors; there’s no need for a big stick.
The F-150 still uses a manual system actuated by a pedal under the steering column. But we imagine a day in the not-too-distant-future where that even becomes automatic.
What do you think? Let us know in the forums!
handbrake parking photo [Bryan Redeker]