Making ESP® compulsory is part of a comprehensive European Commission strategy to improve road safety. ESP® can prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents. It is the most important vehicle safety system after the seat belt”, says Dr. Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. Bosch developed ESP® and in 1995, it was the first company worldwide to start series production. By 2010, 41 percent of all cars and light commercial vehicles weighing less than six metric tons that rolled off the world's production lines were equipped with the system. And some 63 percent of all cars and commercial vehicles manufactured in Europe had ESP®.
Since 1995, Bosch has played a key role in ensuring the widespread use of ESP® by delivering more than 50 million systems worldwide. It is expected that every second new car across the globe will have ESP® by 2013.
The global success of ESP® supports the goal of the United Nations (UN) initiative ‘Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020’, which aims to help halve the number of road deaths by 2020. According to recent surveys, around 1.3 million people are killed on the world's roads each year. To make sure that breakthroughs such as ESP® become a global safety standard, Bosch never lets up in its development efforts. The objective is to boost the systems’ performance while also making them ever smaller and more cost-effective. Encouraging widespread market use of such systems will help keep everyone safe. Equipping all new vehicle models with ESP® as standard in Europe also paves the way for increased use of driver assistance systems based on intelligent networking between ESP® and sensors that monitor vehicle surroundings, such as radars or cameras.
The Electronic Stability Program uses intelligent sensors to check 25 times per second whether the driver's steering input matches the vehicle's actual direction of travel. If the system detects some discrepancy and identifies that the vehicle is likely to become unstable, ESP® intervenes by reducing the engine torque in order to restore stability. If that is not sufficient, then it additionally brakes individual wheels. ESP® also incorporates the functions of the antilock braking system (ABS) and traction control.