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Electronic Stability Control


The winners of the European Inventor Award 2016 were announced this morning and Anton van Zanten, the former Bosch engineer who headed the team responsible for developing the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) was honored with a life time achievement award. The system was first included as standard in 1995 in the Mercedes Benz S600 and the BMW 7 Series (E38)

What is Electronic Stability Control?

Electronic stability control (ESC) is activated when a driver loses control of their vehicle. it improves a vehicles stability by detecting and reducing loss of traction, which in turn reduced the risk of accident.  ESC is a computer controlled technology that automatically applys brakes to individual wheels which helps bring the vehicle back under control safely. Some systems also reduce engine power until the driver regains control.


ESC is useful to a driver in:

  • correcting over or under steering
  • stabilizing the vehicle during sudden movement
  • enhancing handling on uneven surfaces such as gravel patches
  • improving traction on slippery or ice covered roads.


All new cars registered in Australian post January 2011 must be fitted with ESC.


Not all ESC systems are the same and they may be called different name for different makes but they are all programmed to detect and respond to loss of control.  

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