More

How handbrakes could join cassette players in the annals of the past

24 Sep 2019

How handbrakes could join cassette players in the annals of the past

Carmakers are always improving the vehicles they bring to us, which has resulted in a lot of new features and plenty of things being lost to the realm of nostalgia. We no longer have windows you have to crank down yourself, for instance, or a choke. Or a cassette player.

If we'd had to guess what might come next, though, we probably wouldn't have thought of the handbrake as soon becoming a thing of the past.

However, it looks like that's exactly what's going to happen as more and more manufacturers do away with them in favour of more advanced solutions.

According to a study of 32 brands, only 30 per cent of new car deals for 2019 have featured a handbrake, with Suzuki and Dacia the only ones to still include them across their full range.

That's seven per cent less than was the case last year, while brands including Land Rover and Mercedes have already said they're now totally handbrake-free.

Instead, newer motors are showcasing advanced technology that helps drivers do their hillstarts and will automatically disengage when they pull away.

It means no more new drivers trying desperately to find the 'bite' during their driving lessons - and we don't know what filmmakers are going to do for stunts if they can't add handbrake-turns to their car chases.

Chris Knapman, editor of Car Gurus, which carried out the research, said: "The death of the handbrake is coming as manufacturers switch to electronic parking brakes in huge numbers. They have rapidly gone from being a novelty to what our research shows is now the norm."

The news comes after it also came to light this month that some makers of driverless cars want to see regulators do away with the requirements for features such as steering wheels, pedals and mirrors.

We suppose that if the car's going to be doing all the work, they won't really be necessary - but vehicles certainly won't be the same again!