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Electronic Stability Control

Stephen Rampur
The electronic stability control system has proven to be quite helpful in preventing road accidents. Read on for a general explanation on the working of this system in snow and on other slippery surfaces...
As technology is advancing, there are newer systems coming up in cars and automobiles. When it comes to driving cars, one of the major concerns is road safety which is absolutely important. There are many researches been done to increase the safety on road. One of the best technologies that have been invented is the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) system. In simple words, this system precludes or decreases the possibilities of accidents which happen due to loss of vehicle control on road.

What is Electronic Stability Control?

As the name suggests, electronic stability control is a system fitted in cars and SUVs which has specific sensors located in certain parts. These sensor components sense the car control being lost and activate the ESC, which in turn electronically controls traction and control of the vehicle.
As soon as there is any loss of control sensed; the ESC may apply brakes, decrease engine power, or reduce wheel skids. This system is useful in situations of oversteering, understeering, and evasive manoeuvres.
It is also beneficial in enhanced handling on gravel patches and snowy and slippery roads. ESC does not need to be controlled manually, and the driver does not need any additional skills to control the car when this system is active.

ESC, Traction Control, and ABS

There are is a common misconception among people regarding the ESC system. It is believed that ESC, traction control and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) are one and the same. You need to know that ESC is a main system which has got traction control and ABS as supporting technologies in a car. Therefore, every vehicle with ESC inevitably has traction control and ABS; but a car with both these systems necessarily may not have ESC. Hence, it is better to purchase a car which has ESC as a standard factory-fitted feature.

First Implementations of ESC in Cars

The history of this system dates back to 1987 when brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW came up with their traction control technologies. Mercedes-Benz used this system in their W140 S-Class model, whereas Volvo introduced this system in its S80 model. In 1995, Toyota installed this system in its Crown Majesta car. Since then, there have been many companies who have considered installing this technology in their cars.

Product Names for ESC

Many car manufacturers have different names assigned to their respective ESC systems. Electronic Stability Program (ESP) is the name given to traction control systems of Hyundai, Renault, Mercedes-Benz, Jeep, Saab, Citroen, Maybach, Chrysler, and Peugeot. Brands like Ford, Aston Martin, BMW, Land Rover, and Jaguar use ESC as the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). Suzuki and Toyota use Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), whereas those like Nissan and Subaru refer their ESC systems as Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC).
Volvo cars have ESC systems branded as Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). On the other hand; Audi, Skoda, Dodge and Volkswagen cars have Electronic Stability Program (ESP) as their traction control technology. Car manufacturers like Maserati and Porsche use the Maserati Stability Program (MSP) and Porsche Stability Management (PSM) respectively. Similarly, there are many more brands which have their own terminology for ESC systems such as StabiliTrak for Hummer, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) for Honda, and Active Stability Control (ASC) for Mitsubishi.
There have been substantial statistics that have proven the necessity of the ESC system. Therefore, the electronic stability control mandate has been and is being considered by governments of all major countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia, and other European nations. As a result, most manufacturers have started producing cars with electronic stability control as a standard function.