Striving for greater safety
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The more a car is equipped with driver assistance systems, the safer it is on the road. The ultimate goal is accident-free driving. A lot of new technology to bring about this change has already been put into practice — as shown for example by the Stop the Crash initiative.
accidents were prevented in Europe by ESP® between 1995 and 2015
Avoiding accidents, saving lives
“For Bosch, every traffic fatality is one too many,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the Bosch board of management. Therefore Bosch, together with other major companies, supports the “Stop the Crash” initiative of the consumer association Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP). The multi-stakeholder partnership campaigns for technologies which are designed to mitigate accident rates and save lives. It thus supports the goal of the United Nations to halve the number of road traffic fatalities by 2020.
“ESP® is the most important safety system in vehicles after the seat belt but before the airbag.”
Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH
As a part of the program, nine Chinese automobile manufacturers — responsible for 12 brands — have resolved to equip all new models from 2018 onwards with Bosch’s Electronic stability program (ESP®). ESP® was developed by Bosch in 1995 to keep vehicles on the road and under the driver’s control in critical situations.
How does ESP® work?
Stop the Crash: Road safety in China
China is one of the fastest growing automobile markets in the world — the demand for advanced safety systems is increasing rapidly. In as recently as 2011, only 15 per cent of all new cars were equipped with ESP®. In the meantime, this share has risen by more than fourfold — to 63 per cent in 2017. Through Stop the Crash, it will continue to grow. “Public awareness in China for accident risks is increasing all the time. At the same time, it boosts the need for innovative technologies through which accidents can be prevented,” explaines Liming Chen, Regional President Chassis Systems Control Division of Bosch in China.
USA, Europe and Australia still rank ahead of China in respect of new vehicle registrations with ESC® systems. “These countries reacted quickly to the goals of the United Nations to halve the number of road traffic deaths by 2020,” says Chen. “An initiative like Stop the Crash will further increase the number of new vehicle registrations with ESP® also in China. To achieve these objectives, all the stakeholders have to collaborate. The industry has to supply innovations; governmental institutions have to put the right infrastructure into place; and drivers have to be vigilant about greater road safety.”
Up to 80 per cent
of all skid-related accidents could, according to studies, be prevented with ESP®
Active safety systems can save people’s lives
In addition to passive safety systems like seat belts and airbags, active safety systems are helping to further reduce the number of fatalities and casualties in road traffic. Prevention is the best protection against accidents. Studies show that technologies from Bosch Active Safety, like for example the anti-lock braking system (ABS), ESP® and emergency braking systems, save lives.
Milestones in road safety
After nine years developing the system, Bosch launched the first electronically controlled four-wheel antilock braking system for passenger cars in 1978. ABS revolutionized road safety. It prevents locking wheels in critical driving situations like for example emergency braking.
The Traction Control System (TCS) is a further development of the ABS technology. Bosch introduced it to the market in 1986. The electronic control reduces the speed of spinning wheels until they recover their grip.
The Electronic stability program (ESP®) includes the functions of ABS and TCS enhanced by Vehicle Dynamics Management. Since its launch in 1995, the active safety system has been considered the most significant improvement to road safety since the introduction of the seat belt.
In the meantime, Advanced Driver Assistance Sytsems (ADAS) assist drivers to reach their destinations safer and more relaxed. They keep the vehicle in the right lane, regulate the speed and the distance to the preceding vehicle, optimally illuminate the road, warn of collisions, and initiate emergency braking — and help you into in the smallest of spaces at your destination. Enhancements to ESP® are the predictive emergency braking system by which 72 per cent of all avoidable rear-end crashes with casualties above speeds of 30 km/h could be prevented.
90 per cent of all accidents are attributable to human error. The number of accidents can therefore be further reduced by automated driving functions that make life easier for drivers. Alongside the driver assistance systems, Cellular-V2X (vehicle to Everything) — the communication of a car with other vehicles and surroundings through mobile telephony — is an important trailblazer for automated driving. Since 2017, Bosch has been performing trials of the direct and instantaneous exchange of information between vehicles with 5G, from which driver assistance systems also benefit. Connected vehicles provide information like position and speed. Cars know what is about to happen — even before the driver himself or they are detected by radar sensors.