Automotive technology

A lifesaver’s anniversary 100 million Bosch ESP systems Almost every second new passenger vehicle worldwide is equipped with ESP

  • Current data confirm ESP’s high potential for preventing accidents
  • ESP can prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents
  • Many driver assistance systems are based on ESP
  • ESP is already mandatory in a number of countries
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  • March 26, 2014
  • Automotive technology
  • Press releases
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press release

Bosch has produced 100 million ESP systems since the start of series production in 1995. In the process, the company has made a significant contribution to making driving safer. Especially on slippery roads, but also in instances where vehicles drive into bends too quickly, the electronic stability program helps keep vehicles on course and prevent skidding accidents, which often have serious consequences. “In recent years, ESP has demonstrably saved lives,” says Gerhard Steiger, the president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, summing up the findings of several effectiveness studies. “Moreover, ESP is an important building block for high-performance assistance functions and automated driving.” Bosch developed the anti-skid technology and, in 1995, was the first company worldwide to start series production of the system.

ESP becoming a standard feature
After the seatbelt, ESP is the car’s most important safety system. According to studies, it can prevent up to 80 percent of skidding accidents. A detailed analysis of the comprehensive German In-depth Accident Study’s (GIDAS) database shows that in 2011, 540 lives were saved in Germany alone as a result of ESP. This year, 60 percent of all cars on the country’s roads were equipped with the electronic guardian angel. And a growing number of countries are making the system mandatory for new vehicles. In Europe, it has been mandatory for all vehicles that have received type approval since October 2011. From November 2014, ESP will no longer be optional in the EU: it will become standard equipment in all newly registered vehicles. Even today, 78 percent of all newly produced passenger cars and light trucks in Europe are equipped with ESP. The system is also already mandatory for all vehicles up to 4.5 tons in the United States. It is also mandatory in Australia and Israel. In Japan, Korea, Russia, and Turkey, regulations will come into force within the next few years. Around the world, 55 percent of all passenger cars and light trucks are currently equipped with ESP. Even in China, almost a quarter of new passenger cars rolling off the assembly lines feature the system. A look at production figures also reflects the safety system’s growing popularity. From the start of series production in 1995 to 2010, Bosch produced a total of 50 million ESP systems. Within just four years, this figure has doubled. “Since 2010, we have been producing more ESP than ABS systems each year,” Steiger says. At present, the global supplier of technology and services manufactures the system in Germany, France, the United States, Japan, China, India, and Brazil.

Modular system covers all requirements
Since it first went into series production, Bosch has continuously improved the active safety system, gradually adding further functions. While the first version weighed 4.3 kilograms, the basic version of the current generation 9 weighs just 1.6 kilograms. Over time, the system has become significantly lighter, more compact, and less expensive. These development efforts have been a resounding success: “ESP is now affordable for all vehicle classes,” Steiger says.

The increasing electrification of the powertrain and the growing number of assistance functions have put new demands on existing braking systems. Bosch has already responded to this development with a modular system that offers the right technical solutions. Even for fully automated vehicles, the right ESP system combined with the iBooster electromechanical brake booster already offers the redundancy that is required.

Assistance systems based on ESP
New assistance systems are making driving even safer and more comfortable. Bosch is developing functions that automatically maintain the distance to the vehicle ahead, maneuver vehicles into the tightest of parking spots, and warn drivers in good time in critical situations. In the years to come, a growing number of driving maneuvers will become fully automated. Vehicles will then be able to drive into the garage on their own, or navigate their way through morning traffic on the freeway. All of these functions have one thing in common: they brake without the driver’s intervention. ESP puts their braking commands into practice. Additional safety and comfort features can thus more easily be added to vehicles that are already equipped with the system. Sensors that gather data on the vehicle’s surroundings are the decisive basis of these features. They act as the vehicle’s sensory organs: they recognize other road users and determine their distance from the vehicle, as well as their speed and direction of travel. Bosch offers a broad range of ultrasound, video, and radar sensors that serve this purpose.

Bosch supports UN campaign for greater road safety
Each year, some 1.3 million people around the world die as a result of traffic accidents, while several million more are injured. In 2011, the United Nations initiated the decade of action for road safety, which aims to stabilize and then reduce the number of road deaths around the world by 2020. Bosch has supported the project from the very beginning. In 2014 alone, the company has contributed 150,000 dollars to the initiative. The money will go toward supporting Global NCAP, which enables independent assessment programs for new vehicles, especially in emerging countries such as India. In recent years, Bosch’s commitment to the initiative has contributed to the realization of several road safety projects around the world.

Automotive Technology is the largest Bosch Group business sector. In 2013, its sales came to 30.6 billion euros, or 66 percent of total group sales. This makes the Bosch Group one of the leading automotive suppliers (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Automotive Technology largely operates in the following areas: injection technology for internal-combustion engines, alternative powertrain concepts, efficient and networked powertrain peripherals, systems for active and passive driving safety, assistance and comfort functions, technology for user-friendly infotainment as well as car-to-car and Car2X communication, and concepts, technology, and service for the automotive aftermarket. Bosch has been responsible for important automotive innovations, such as electronic engine management, the ESP anti-skid system, and common-rail diesel technology.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In 2013, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.1 billion euros. (NB: Due to a change in accounting policies, the 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with the 2012 figures). Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 360 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 50 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 further growth. In 2013, the Bosch Group invested some 4.5 billion euros in research and development and applied for some 5,000 patents. This is an average of 20 patents per day. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.”

Further information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8505 - March 26, 2014

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