150 Million Brake Control Systems From Bosch

  • Bosch introduced antilock braking system (ABS) to the market for the first time in 1978
  • ABS is standard equipment on new cars in the EU
  • ABS, TCS and ESP have been proven to improve road safety
  • Bosch produces 65,000 systems daily at six locations worldwide

Bosch is about to produce the 150 millionth brake control system. The success story began back in 1978 with the production launch of the first electronically controlled antilock braking system (ABS), followed in 1986 with the traction control system (TCS) and then the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) in 1995. All these systems are Bosch developments. The company produces more than 65,000 brake control systems every working day at six locations worldwide. In 2007, the production network will be expanded with a production site in Brazil.

Herbert Hemming, Executive Vice President of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control Division, said, “When ABS was introduced, it was only fitted as optional equipment on high-end luxury models. Now it is standard across all new vehicles within the European Union and in many parts of the world. ABS has made braking safer, and has therefore made a major contribution to reducing accidents.”

The original ABS unit introduced in 1978 weighed over six kilograms. Through advances in technology, the most compact versions today weigh in at only 1.4 kilograms. In addition, they operate considerably faster and offer even greater levels of safety.

Recent research has identified that 42 per cent of all newly registered passenger cars in the EU are now fitted with ESP. "Bosch is working intensively on networking ESP with other systems in vehicles in order to further increase safety for the driver", said Hemming.

Brake control systems offer assistance to the driver by controlling the brake pressure on each individual wheel in critical situations. The vehicle remains controllable and follows the steering intentions of the driver. ABS prevents the wheels from locking during braking. As a result, the car can be steered even with the brake pedal fully depressed, allowing the driver to avoid obstacles. The traction control system (TCS) prevents the wheels from losing traction when starting off or accelerating on snow, ice and wet roads. The Electronic Stability Program (ESP) combines the ABS and TSC functions and also works to prevent the vehicle from skidding. If the system detects that the vehicle is about to skid, it reduces the engine output and specifically brakes individual wheels resulting in the vehicle remaining on the desired course.

The benefits of brake control systems - first and foremost ESP - have been highlighted by a number of studies. For example, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has determined that standard fitment of ESP into all vehicles would prevent over a third of all single-vehicle accidents in the US. As a result of these findings, the NHTSA has passed a provision (‘Federal Motor vehicle safety standard No. 126’), according to which all passenger cars in the US must be gradually equipped with the active safety system by Model Year 2012. The provision goes into effect in June 2007.

24 May 2007 Staff

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