In 2008, the share of newly registered passenger cars in Germany equipped with the ESP® electronic stability program rose by two percentage points to 81 percent. Year on year, according to the data now available, the figures for Europe showed a five percentage-point rise to 55 percent. Legal regulations passed in the U.S. and Europe, and now also in Australia, mean that every new vehicle in these countries will be equipped with this active safety system by the end of 2014 at the latest. “ESP® can prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents, and is therefore a considerable boost to safety,” says Dr. Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division.
“Moreover, nearly all future driver-assistance and safety systems will use ESP® sensor signals and the possibilities for intervention offered by the system. For example, if ESP® is already installed, an automatic emergency braking system can be added faster and more cost-effectively.” Bosch developed ESP®, and in 1995 was the first to manufacture it in series production.
In many European countries, the percentage of vehicles equipped with ESP® increased – in some cases significantly. In Italy, for example, the figure rose from 42 to 51 percent, and in the U.K. it went up from 48 to 56 percent. In France, by contrast, the share fell from 46 to 42 percent, largely due to the greater proportion of small cars among newly registered vehicles in the country. “Small cars remain our main concern,” Struth says, “yet ESP® is at least as important in these cars as it is in larger vehicles.” In the German small-car segment, the share rose by 6 percentage points to 44 percent. In Europe’s five largest markets, however, only roughly every fifth small or mini vehicle is equipped with ESP®.
ESP® now mandatory in the U.S., Europe, and Australia
The positive findings of many international studies examining the effectiveness of ESP® have already prompted several countries to introduce legal regulations. As early as 2007, the U.S. mandated its gradual introduction up to the model year 2012. The EU requires all new vehicle models from November 2011 to be fitted with the safety system, while all newly registered vehicles must have ESP® from November 2014. In June 2009, the Australian government decided that the electronic stability program is to be mandatory for new vehicle series from November 2011, and for all newly registered vehicles from November 2013. ESP® will therefore be universally mandatory in Australia one year before the EU.
Euro NCAP, the European New Car Assessment Program which uses simulated accident situations to test the safety of vehicles, has also included ESP® in its assessment procedure since February 2009. Its new guidelines stipulate that, as of 2010, its maximum five-star safety rating can only be given to vehicle models that feature ESP® as standard equipment.