AutoGyan : Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

This is the second edition of our weekly AutoGyan where we provide the detailed insights of different features and mechanisms in your vehicles. Last week we published an edition on Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Today we will give you a detailed explanation about the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or the Bosch trademarked Electronic Stability Program (ESP) which is on offer on Indian cars for sometime now. The ESC was first developed in the year 1983 which was then called Four Wheel Anti-skid control. The first car to come with it was the Toyota Crown. Yes, this system has been there for more more than three decades now. In the year, 2012 this system was made mandatory for production cars in Europe. But, India however still does not seem to have understood the importance of ESC. This is the reason we have started this special weekly initiative which we call the AutoGyan to spread awareness about such features. Let us now move on to the working of Electronic Stability Control.

Working :

While driving, especially in India, we often face situations where an obstacle suddenly comes in the middle of the road making us brake or maneuver the car hastily to avoid a crash. When we maneuver the vehicles at high speed, the vehicle tends to skid as the wheels loose traction with the road. This can lead to the vehicle getting crashed as the driver will not be able to control the car or the car can topple over. The Electronic Stability Control in simple words senses such a situation and applies braking to individual wheels to prevents the wheels from losing traction with the road.

ESC has the following a components : Speed sensors on each wheel, other sensors that senses the G-force and steering activities, a computer to compute the data and a hydraulic unit that increases or reduces the braking force on individual wheels. The Electronic Stability Control checks the system 25 times a second to detect lose of traction. When it detects such a situation using different sensors, it computes the data and the hydraulic unit amends the braking pressure individually on each wheel. For e.g in case of oversteer, braking is applied on the outer front wheel and in case of understeer, on inner rear wheel. ESC systems also amends the engine power to prevent accidents. The ESC actively prevents the driver from loosing control of the car. This system sounds simple but is equally useful as an active safety feature. Around 50% of road accidents take place due to skid. This type of accidents are prevented by the Electronic Stability Control.

Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is the ESC system from Bosch. The ESP also comes with by-products such as Traction Control System, Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control. The Traction Control System controls the torque on individual wheels to cut down extra torque that makes the wheel lose traction. The Hill Hold Control is used when climbing a hill. This system keeps the braking pressure on wheels consistent for two more seconds after the driver takes his foot off the brake. This time can be utilized by the driver accelerate the vehicle from a halt on a hill. The Hill Descent Control is used for safety while coming down from a hill. The system uses the brakes and engine power to do the same.

Hope you understood the working and importance of the Electronic Stability Control (ESC). You can watch the video below for more information. Share the article if you liked it. Happy Motoring! 🙂

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