When a driver applies brakes to his speeding vehicles the wheels can get locked and if the surface is slippery, the car can skid. Under these circumstances it is electronic stability control (ESC) that comes to a driver’s rescue by selectively applying brakes to each wheel to bring the vehicle back under control. By incorporating this technology into modern braking systems there are fewer fatal accidents and loss of lives.
Faster vehicles, higher traffic on roads and development of ABS and EBD gave an impetus to further control a vehicle’s braking capability. Studies showed that while ABS and EBD were effective, they were not intelligent enough to provide stability a vehicle during the braking process, especially on wet surfaces or when the driver was turning the vehicle.
Auto manufacturers pursued their own program of developing systems that controlled throttle and braking of individual wheels.
The ESC unit is integrated with the car’s computer and braking unit. Its main parts comprise of:
All these work in conjunction with the ABS and EBD units through the central computer. Sophisticated units may have electronic differential lock, engine drag torque control, over boost hydraulic booster, hydraulic brake assist and brake disc wiper unit.
The action is extremely fast and response is quicker within split-second, than most human drivers are capable of, resulting in prevention of accidents.
In some countries use of ESC is mandatory on all vehicles. ESC makes the difference between safety and accidents, completing the line up of ABS and EBD.