More Safety with Vehicle Stability Control 2007-01-2759
Since introduction of safety belts in the 70s and airbags in the early 80s, these passive safety technologies have become standard in many markets. Remarkable improvement in passive safety, efforts to alter driver behaviour and infrastructural programmes have led to substantial reductions of fatalities in many regions, although the absolute number of highway fatalities increased e.g. in the USA in 2002 to the highest level since 1990.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as an active safety technology assists the driver to keep the vehicle on the intended track and thereby actively prevents accidents. In 1995 Bosch was the first supplier to introduce ESC for the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, where it is marketed as ESP® - Electronic Stability Program. Since then, Bosch has produced more than 30 million systems worldwide. Many studies have now confirmed that ESC can prevent a vehicle from skidding or rolling over in nearly all driving situations. Due to the remarkable safety benefits, actual trends indicate, that ESP® will become standard safety equipment in the near future.
This paper will present ESC contributions to active safety and the required adaptations to support the huge diversity of different vehicle types. Further improvements are based on Vehicle Dynamics Management and CAPS - Combined Active and Passive Safety - with the related challenges of extensive networking of various sensing and chassis systems.