Anti-skid tech for all by 2014?

2011-11-23 10:19

Europe’s tight safety standards look set to sweep the world as, from this month, certain new vehicles in the EU must be equipped with an electronic stability control programme – a requirement with far-reaching consequences for South African drivers.

The technology will be required on all new cars and light commercials and will subsequently become compulsory on all new vehicles sold in the EU from October 2014. The excellent driving aid will be in use in every second new vehicle sold worldwide by 2013.

The move to compulsory ESP is part of the European Commission’s plan to improve road safety.


ESP image: Bosch

ESP IN ACTION: A critical manoeuvre is demonstrated showing a vehicle with and without the system engaged.

Werner Struth, president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, said: "The technology can prevent as many as 80% of all skidding accidents. It is the most important vehicle safety system after the seat belt."

It uses sensors to check 25 times a second whether the driver's steering input matches the vehicle's direction of travel and, if the system detects that the vehicle is likely to become unstable, intervenes by reducing the engine torque or, additionally, braking individual wheels.

It works in conjunction with the anti-lock brakes and traction control and forms the basis for increased use of driver assistance systems using radar and cameras.


Bosch developed ESP and, by 2010, 41% of all cars and LCV's of less than six tons rolled off the world's production lines were equipped with the system, the company said.

The rampant roll-out of ESP supports the United Nations’ “Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020” to which South Africa is a signatory. It is reported that 1.3-million people are killed on the world’s roads every year and the UN aims to halve that number by 2020.

  • Transkie Sun - 2011-11-23 10:31

    ESP for gov would be great

  • Spyker - 2011-11-23 10:41

    And in Africa they have not even invented the wheel yet...

  • Wollie - 2011-11-23 12:54

    Again we are depending on technology rather than proper driver training.

      Ebon - 2011-11-28 12:09

      Not really. Only an arrogant fool believes his driving skill precludes the need for electronic driver aids. Don't get me wrong. Proper driving training is important. But even the best drivers in the world could find themselves in a situation where ESP will be the difference between being involved in, or avoiding a collision.

  • PyroSA - 2011-11-23 14:29

    Great, except where we already have millions of unroadworthy cars out there. Heck, how many cars on the road were bought and driven to destruction with zero maintenance? ESP can't perform magic with slick tyres.

  • Trevor - 2011-11-23 16:57

    I see another law coming into effect to milk the taxpayer in SA...add to the useless carbon tax that the ANC is stealing...but we'll never know due to the new Information Secrecy Bill passed by Zuma and his cronies..

      Ebon - 2011-11-28 15:13

      Arguing that it's a useless idea because you believe (rightly or wrongly) that the ANC will use the opportunity to milk the public is irrelevant. Personally I believe that it should have been mandatory for all new cars sold in SA to be equipped with at least ABS many years ago. Making it mandatory to equip all new cars with ESP can only be a good thing. The "negatives" you fear have nothing to do with ESP at all, but with unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of consumers. It is a separate issue. Sure, the implementation of the law will require a bit of scrutiny, ie making sure that manufacturers do not take advantage and charge exorbitantly for the features, making sure that government does not add unnecessary taxes etc, but the principle remains sound. Adding ESP to all new cars will reduce the number of accidents on our roads and actually in the long run is in everybody's best interest. Some idiots might believe that R5000 for ESP is a waste of money, but in reality, over your lifetime, spending money on ESP will probably save you money by reducing the cost to you from accidents, insurance premiums, and might even save your and/or others' lives (which would probably make it the best spent R5000 you ever spent).

      Thabiso - 2011-11-29 13:16

      How do you suppose this law would read Trevor?

  • Zion - 2011-11-23 17:21

    And when it goes out of action for some or other reason then it is simply disconnected by the friendly back-yard mechanic for a few bob.

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