Rome (italy). May 2007 – the ESP anti-skid system can prevent one in five fatal traffic accidents. Nevertheless, the safety system is still far from being introduced across the board in europe. This is the result of research by the euroncap panel, which has now been presented in rome. The european organization euroncap (european new car assessment programme) brings together european transport ministries and automobile clubs around the same table and is best known for the crash tests of the same name.
Braking individual wheels
ESP came on the market about ten years ago, pioneered by the mercedes S-class. With the help of sensors, the system detects in good time when a vehicle starts to skid. In a fraction of a second, the electronic control unit brakes individual wheels. This counteracts both oversteer and understeer of the vehicle. The ESP constantly compares the driver’s wish, which can be seen from the steering angle, with the driving condition. Engine management, the ABS speed sensors and a so-called yaw rate sensor provide the input for the driving condition. If a significant deviation of the driving condition from the driver’s wish is detected, the system intervenes. Oversteer is corrected by braking the front wheel, which is less sensitive to cornering, while understeer is corrected by braking the rear wheel, which is more sensitive to cornering. In addition, ESP can also throttle engine power to reduce vehicle speed.