News of February 01, 2000
Continental AG: Soon One Out of Every Three Cars in Europe Will be Equipped with the Electronic Stability Program
HANNOVER, Germany - Already by the year 2004, one out of every three cars in Europe will be equipped with the electronic stability program (ESP). This is the forecast made by market researchers at Continental Teves in Frankfurt, one of the world's leading ESP manufacturers.
At the present time, the stability management system is used primarily by German auto makers like Daimler Chrysler, Volkswagen and BMW. According to specialists at Teves, this is about to change, however, as other European automobile manufacturers quickly follow suit. Already this year European car makers are expected to attain an ESP installation rate of around 7 percent.
Continental Teves supplied close to 400,000 ESP units last year, with 300,000 of them going to German automakers. This year the unit count will soar to almost 1.4 million. In 2002 the number of ESP systems supplied by Continental Teves will, for the first time, greatly exceed 2 million. For 2004 the company already has orders for a total of 3.5 million units. This figure may very well rise further as additional orders come in. ESP is a safety system that ensures the stability of a vehicle even in critical situations. It recognizes when the vehicle behaves differently than the driver wants it to. By braking individual wheels, it corrects understeer and oversteer and thus keeps the vehicle on the road, especially on slick roads and in curves. Experts assume that around a tenth of all accidents could be prevented if all vehicles were equipped with ESP.
ESP has been offered as optional equipment on luxury-class cars for about five years now. It really began to conquer the market a few months ago when DaimlerChrysler decided to have it installed as a standard feature in all Mercedes types. Meanwhile, it is also used in the compact category.
Continental is already working on a second-generation ESP. Here the tire functions as part of a new sensor system in determining the forces at work between the road and the tire. This so-called sidewall torsion sensor (SWT) determines a case of instability earlier than the previous sensor system. In this way, the performance capability of these systems can be further enhanced.
(Jan. 28, 2000)