Bosch celebrates 10 years of ESP

20 July 2005 #SMMT News

In 1995 the first vehicles fitted with a revolutionary safety system hit showrooms. Mercedes Benz were first to use the Bosch technology, which introduced the initials ESP to car buyers for the first time.

Ten years on ESP – Electronic Stability Program – has become synonymous with the rise of active safety. These are technologies designed to prevent accidents rather than simply limit the effect of a crash and include systems such as ABS (anti-lock brakes) – now fitted as standard to all new cars.

However, as independent safety body EuroNCAP recently confirmed, it is ESP that represents one of the most significant tools in the drive to cut deaths and injuries on Europe’s roads.

ESP helps the driver to maintain control of their vehicle during critical on-road situations by preventing the car from skidding. Activated in the event of either under or over-steer, ESP automatically brakes individual wheels and cuts acceleration.

Bosch estimates that 4.7 million vehicles will be fitted with ESP throughout the world this year alone. In the UK, nearly three in every 10 new cars are equipped with the system. The figure is set to rise in the years to come.

In 2003, Bosch won a prestigious Prince Michael Road Safety Award for its work on ESP. To celebrate the 10 year anniversary, Prince Michael, patron of the awards and road safety charity RoadSafe, joined senior Bosch officials at a cocktail reception in central London.

Thanking the Prince for his support, Hermann Kaess, managing director of Robert Bosch Limited in the UK, spoke of the role ESP continues to play in cutting road deaths and injuries.

He also highlighted the importance of promoting ESP to customers and, crucially, the dealer network. Bosch is working with eight car companies in the UK to train 3,500 dealer staff this year through its ‘ESPerience’ programme, which seeks to demonstrate ESP in a safe and controlled environment. More than 14,000 sales staff and dealers around the world were put through ESPeriencelast year.

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