Thomas Built to Offer Bendix Electronic Parking Brake on Some Buses

Posted on November 4, 2019
Thomas Built Buses will start offering Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake on its Saf-T-Liner C2 and Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus in July 2020. Shown here is a Saf-T-Liner C2 bus. File photo courtesy Thomas Built Buses
Thomas Built Buses will start offering Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake on its Saf-T-Liner C2 and Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus in July 2020. Shown here is a Saf-T-Liner C2 bus. File photo courtesy Thomas Built Buses

ELYRIA, Ohio — Thomas Built Buses will soon start offering Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake as optional equipment on two of its school bus models.

The school bus manufacturer will offer the parking brake on its Saf-T-Liner C2 and as factory-installed standard equipment on the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus as of July 1, 2020.

Thomas Built Buses is the first school bus original equipment manufacturer to make Intellipark available on some of its buses, according to Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems.

Intellipark is designed to help prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the parking brake if the driver exits the vehicle without setting it. Additionally, the parking brake offers an indication of parking brake status.

“Developing advanced safety technologies that help keep student passengers safe and support school bus drivers is a critical mission at Bendix, and we’re delighted to combine efforts with Thomas Built Buses in this important step,” said Scott Burkhart, vice president of sales, marketing, and business development for Bendix.

“Intellipark provides unique benefits, complementing the other safety features built into our buses and further helping to back up the drivers piloting them,” said Anca Matache, product planning manager for Thomas Built Buses.

Intellipark’s rollaway prevention capability is made possible through interlocks, which are installed in critical areas such as the speed sensors, ignition, foot brake, and door, that can engage the parking brake electronically in circumstances where the system determines that the vehicle is stationary and should have the park brakes activated. The custom interlocks also prevent unintentional park brake release.

Intellipark replaces the traditional yellow push/pull knob with a switch that is designed to require less effort and doesn’t deliver the popping “sting” that comes with manually activating a 120-psi hand-controlled brake valve. The new switch still maintains the familiar yellow symbols and text, along with integrated LEDs that indicate the status of the parking brake. It also offers increased durability and additional cycles over the current pneumatic system, according to Bendix.

“Based on the extensive testing of Intellipark that we’ve done on the road with drivers, the enhanced ergonomic design — along with being able to tell at a glance whether the parking brake is set or not — truly raises the bar,” said Rebecca Carter, Bendix product manager for specialty valves.

Intellipark, which this year was named a Heavy Duty Trucking Top 20 product, has gone through Bendix’s vehicle testing process, along with the real-world experiences of test fleets — exposing the system to a wide range of potential conditions over hundreds of thousands of park and auto-park cycles.

In addition to school buses, Intellipark can be used on almost any air-braked vehicle, including motorcoaches, tractor-trailers, and single-unit trucks. Additionally, school districts and fleet managers can use information from the data Intellipark provides through Bendix SafetyDirect to enhance their safety programs and driver training efforts.

For more information about Bendix safety systems and technologies, go to or call (800) AIR-BRAKE (247-2725).

Related Topics: brakes, electric bus, Thomas Built Buses

Comments ( 1 )
  • Mike Gough

     | about 4 months ago

    Any system that offers a fail-safe assurance that the parking brake is or gets activated, before the bus rolls away unintentionally, is a good thing. Our full size buses are a heavy vehicle that deserves this added pròtection. It would be a good thing if the electronic relays involved are robust enough that the release feature is reliable and does not strand a bus with a locked-up or failed parking brake. And it should be worth the extra bucks to have this optional system.

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