A milestone in active driving safety 15th anniversary of series production for Bosch ESP®

· The first vehicle with ESP® came off the assembly line in September 1995

· Having ESP® in all vehicles could reduce the annual number of road deaths in Europe by some 4,000

· Legal regulations will soon require passenger cars in Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia to have ESP®

· In 2009, 60 percent of all new vehicles in Europe and 36 percent of all those worldwide were equipped with ESP®

· Bosch has manufactured 50 million ESP® systems since series production began in 1995

Fifteen years ago, Bosch began series production of the Electronic Stability Program for motor vehicles. ESP® helps to prevent vehicles from skidding, and independent studies show that it can reduce the number of serious or fatal single vehicle accidents by nearly half. That makes ESP® the most important vehicle safety system after the seat belt, more important than the airbag. In summer 2009, the EU adopted a regulation that requires all newly registered vehicles to have ESP® as per November 2014. In 2009, 60 percent of all new vehicles were equipped with ESP®; the figure in Germany was as high as 80 percent. Globally, 36 percent, or more than one in three vehicles were equipped with this anti-skid system. Bosch expects that figure to rise to some 50 percent by 2012. “ESP® is a global success story,” says Dr. Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division. Bosch developed the first ESP® system for series production, and has manufactured already 50 million systems since series production began in 1995.

The Electronic Stability Program includes the features of both the ABS antilock braking system and the TCS traction control system. ABS stops the wheels from locking when the brakes are applied, and TCS helps to prevent the wheels from spinning when the car starts to drive. ESP® in addition detects imminent skidding, using sensor signals to compare the direction in which the driver wants the vehicle to move and the direction in which the vehicle is actually moving. If the two do not match, the system intervenes. By reducing engine speed and applying braking pressure at individual wheels, it helps prevent skidding and keeps the vehicle safely on track within the laws of physics. ESP® is also a central component of future safety systems. Together with sensors that monitor the vehicle’s surroundings, for example, it can detect critical situations early on. Recently, the Bosch predictive emergency braking system PEBS went into series production as an optional feature in the new Audi A8. If PEBS detects the danger of a rear-end collision, it warns the driver and helps him brake to avoid the collision. If the collision cannot be prevented, it automatically triggers full braking shortly before impact, making the accident considerably less severe.

It all started with improving ABS
In 1983, Bosch began to consider using an optimized ABS system to improve vehicle stability during full braking. This approach was refined in the years that followed, and Bosch ultimately filed the basic patent application for ABS in 1987. Engineers expanded the system’s functions during 1990 and 1991 to make it effective in all driving situations, even during acceleration or rollovers. Shortly thereafter, ESP® was ready for series production, and manufacturing began in 1995.

Widespread evidence of the benefits of ESP®
Several studies show how helpful ESP® is. Daimler, for example, showed in 2004 that the number of single-vehicle accidents in Germany involving Mercedes passenger cars had fallen by some 42 percent since ESP® became standard equipment in those cars. Single-vehicle accidents are those in which drivers lose control of their vehicles without any interference from other road users. An evaluation by Volkswagen in the same year showed that ESP® was able to prevent roughly 80 percent of all skidding accidents. A 2007 cost-benefit study by the University of Cologne showed that introducing ESP® comprehensively in Europe alone would reduce road deaths by 4,000 and the number of people injured by 100,000 – every year. Finally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the United States calculated in 2006 that, for passenger cars in the U.S., 34 percent of all single-vehicle accidents and 71 percent of all rollovers could be prevented if ESP® were introduced as a standard feature. That benefit analysis led to the world’s first regulation for ESP® in new cars: as per September 2011 all vehicles up to 4.5 tons sold in the U.S. have to be equipped with ESP®. Australia and Europe will follow in November 2013 and 2014 respectively. In July 2010 the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs of Korea announced equal plans to make ESP® mandatory. The New Car Assessment Programs (NCAPs) in Europe and Australia now also include active safety systems in their assessment criteria. As of 2010, only vehicle models that feature ESP® as standard equipment are eligible to receive the maximum five-star safety rating in the European NCAP. The NCAP in Japan so far recommends to buy cars with ESP®.

Traffic safety on the global agenda
In March 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2011 to 2020 the Decade of Action for Road Safety. Despite progress in many countries, the number of road deaths has continued to rise in recent years. Some 1.3 million people die annually as a result of traffic accidents, and the UN estimates that 50 million sustain injuries. The goal of the UN campaign is to reduce the number of road deaths forecast for 2020 by half. The approach involves both improving road networks and making active safety systems more widespread.

Optimized design, lower costs
The number of accidents cannot be appreciably reduced unless as many vehicles as possible are equipped with the safety system. Thus the goal for Bosch from the very beginning was to improve the design of the ESP®, focusing on making it smaller, more efficient, and more cost-effective. The first system, version 5.0, was followed in 1998 by version 5.7 and in 2002 by generation 8. Generation 9, whose most compact ESP® system weighs just 1.6 kilograms, has been launched beginning 2010. In comparison, the first ESP® in 1995 weighed a full 4.3 kilograms. Thanks to the new generation’s modular design, the new generation offers ideal solutions for all vehicle segments – whether for compact cars, premium vehicles, or light trucks. “With this cost-optimized design, we are supporting the worldwide efforts of the automobile industry and governments to make active safety systems standard equipment in every vehicle,” says Struth. “This way, we can significantly reduce the number of serious accidents.”
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 275,000 associates generated sales of 38.2 billion euros in fiscal 2009. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in over 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3.5 billion euros for research and development, and applies for some 3,800 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

Additional information can be accessed at http://www.bosch.com/.
PI7094 – August 2010