March 9, 2004

Safety study finds 34% more drivers maintain control with electronic stability control

Farmington Hills, Michigan – Robert Bosch Corporation announced the results of a newly published research study by the University of Iowa that concludes 34 percent more drivers maintain control of vehicles with Electronic Stability Control (ESC) than drivers without ESC.

Unveiled today at the SAE 2004 World Congress, the research study delivers evidence supporting the effectiveness of ESC. In conjunction with the Electronic Stability Control Coalition and the University of Iowa, the ESC study was implemented by employing the National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS), which is owned by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the study, researchers at the University of Iowa were able to study drivers during true-to-life critical driving scenarios that would normally lead to a loss of control.

Previous international observational studies — from Mercedes and Toyota — have shown that ESC could help prevent up to 50 percent of single-vehicle crashes.

The University of Iowa’s study compared driver performance during three selected loss-of-control scenarios — lane departure, curve departure and wind gust — between two vehicles equipped with an ESC system and the same vehicles with the system off. Researchers chose the scenarios from the well-known industry accident classifications in the crash avoidance document “44 Crashes.” The results show that vehicles equipped with ESC systems provide a significant safety benefit: 34 percent more drivers were able to maintain control of vehicles equipped with ESC than without ESC.

First manufactured by Bosch in 1995, ESC — or electronic stability program (ESP) as it is called by Bosch — is an innovative milestone in automotive safety. The company has produced more that 10 million ESP systems worldwide, and estimates approximately six percent of U.S. vehicles are equipped with ESP today.

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