Power Electronics

ESC turns 10

Bosch says it’s been manufacturing electronic stability control (ESC) for global passenger vehicles for 10 years, since it introduced the technology on the 1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. It’s produced 15 million ESC systems worldwide since then, some four million of them in 2004, during which approximately 11% of vehicles produced in North America were equipped with ESC.

According to a study conducted last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), ESC reduced fatal sport utility crashes by 67%, and fatal car crashes by 35%.

Bosch recently expanded ESC to include features such as rollover mitigation (ROM), which helps prevent vehicle rollover, and trailer sway mitigation (TSM), which is intended to prevent unstable oscillations and trailer sway. Other value-added ESC functions include hill descent control, hill hold control, soft stop, traffic jam assist and controlled deceleration driver assistance. Bosch formed the Electronic Stability Control Coalition with Continental Teves in 2003, and last year Bosch began a pilot training program to provide ESC information and test drives to automotive dealers.

"Announcements by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Honda and Toyota to increase the number of ESC systems on their vehicles will positively influence installation rates," said Rich Golitko, marketing director, electronic stability control, Robert Bosch Corporation. "In less than two years, vehicles produced with ESC in North America will more than double, from approximately 11% today to 23%in 2006."

Golitko says that as part of Bosch’s effort to reduce cost and increase design flexibility, the latest generation of Bosch ESC is approximately 60% lighter than an early version introduced in 1998. In the United States, Bosch manufactures ESC at its Charleston and Anderson, S.C. facilities.

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