Electronic Stability Control

Topics: Electronic stability control, Anti-lock braking system, Traction control system Pages: 10 (3278 words) Published: December 6, 2012
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Electronic Stability Control

Electronic stability control
Electronic stability control (ESC) is a computerized technology that improves safety of a v ehicle's stability by detecting and minimizing skids,When ESC detects loss of steering control, it automatically applies the brakes to help "steer" the vehicle where the driver intends to go. Braking is automatically applied to wheels individually, such as the outer front wheel to counter oversteer or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer. Some ESC systems also reduce engine power until control is regained. ESC does not improve a vehicle's cornering performance; instead, it helps to minimize the loss of control. According to Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-third of fatal accidents could have been prevented by the technology.

In 1987, the earliest innovators of ESC, Mercedes-Benz and BMW , introduced their first traction control systems. Traction control works by applying individual wheel braking and throttle to keep traction while accelerating but, unlike the ESC, it is not designed to aid in steering. Named simply TCL in 1990, the system has since evolved into Mitsubishi's modern Active Skid and Traction Control (ASTC) system. Developed to help the driver maintain the intended path through a corner, an onboard computer monitored several vehicle operating parameters through the use of various sensors. When too much throttle has been used, while taking a curve, engine output and braking are automatically regulated to ensure the proper path through a curve and to provide the proper amount of traction under various road surface conditions. While conventional traction control systems at the time f eatured only a slip control function, Mitsubishi developed a TCL system which had a preventive (active) safety feature. This improved the course tracing performance by automatically adjusting the traction force, thereby restraining the development of excessive lateral acceleration, while turning. Although not a ‘true’ modern stability control system, trace control monitors steering angle, throttle position and individual wheel speeds and there is no yaw rate input. The TCL system's standard wheel slip control function improves traction on slippery surfaces or during cornering. In addition to the TCL's traction control feature, it also works together with Diamante's electronic controlled suspension and four -wheel steering that Mitsubishi had equipped to improve total handling and performance. BMW , working with Robert Bosch GmbH and Continental Automotive Systems, developed a system to reduce engine torque to prevent loss of control and applied it to the entire BMW model line for 1992. From 1987 to 1992, Mercedes-Benz and Robert Bosch GmbH co-developed a system called Elektronisches Stabilitätsprogramm (Ger. "Electronic Stability Programme" trademarked as ESP) a lateral slippage control system, the electronic stability control (ESC). GM worked with Delphi Corporation and introduced its version of ESC called "StabiliTrak" in 1997 for select Cadillac models. StabiliTrak was made standard equipment on all GM SUVs and vans sold in the U.S. and Canada by 2007 except for certain commercial and fleet vehicles. While the "StabiliTrak" name is used on most General Motors vehicles for the U.S. market, the "Electronic Stability Control" identity is used for GM overseas brands, such as Opel, Holden and Saab, except in the case of Saab's 9-7X which also uses the "StabiliTrak" name. Ford's version of ESC, called AdvanceTrac, was launched in the year 2000. Ford later added Roll Stability Control to AdvanceTracwhich was first intr oduced in Volvo XC90 in 2003 when Volvo Cars was fully owned by Ford and it is now being implemented in many Ford vehicles.


In 1995, automobile manufacturers introduced ESC systems. Mercedes-Benz, supplied by Bosch, was the first to implement...
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