New Bosch ESPpremium Goes Into Series Production

Bosch has extended its Electronic Stability Program (ESP) product family to include the very powerful ESPpremium version. "ESPpremium raises the level of comfort, while at the same time providing additional safety and agility," explains Herbert Hemming, Executive Vice President for Sales in the Chassis Systems Control Division. "The system can develop braking pressure even more quickly, yet operates more quietly and almost without any vibration." ESPpremium has been designed for deluxe cars and above - cars which now feature an ever-larger number of safety and comfort functions. Two automakers will be installing the system before the end of 2006.

The braking system plays a central part in many new assistance functions. ESPpremium complements the existing ESP and ESPplus versions from Bosch, and, like them, is based on the generation 8 brake control system. The three systems together cover the varying demands made of the brake control systems when applied in small cars, luxury cars, or in light commercial vehicles.

A primary feature of the ESPpremium is the new pump design, which has six pistons instead of the two used previously. This has allowed a reduction in pressure pulsation - in other words, the variation between the lowest and highest values of the braking pressure developed - of 90 per cent in comparison with earlier ESP units. In turn, this permits brake control that is extremely fast, and yet can scarcely be heard or felt by the driver. It is, moreover, possible for the braking pressure to be regulated over a significantly wider range, and to be precisely adapted to any driving situation. Comfort functions can therefore be implemented even more effectively. For instance, when it works in tandem with the "Adaptive Cruise Control" (ACC) distance controller, ESPpremium can implement a very comfortable "Stop & Go" function that automatically brings the vehicle to a gentle halt in high-density traffic.

ESPpremium also develops braking pressure with a much higher dynamic response than conventional systems. This permits, for instance, extremely fast automatic emergency braking, and also improves the effectiveness of the braking assistant. Other functions further optimize the agility of the vehicle and its handling. Bosch has grouped its activities in this field under the term "Vehicle Dynamics Management" (VDM) - in other words, the networking of the braking system with active steering and chassis systems. The speed and accuracy with which the new system reacts is clearly illustrated by the example of starting on a road that is iced over on one side. Under these conditions, a car fitted with ESPpremium reaches a speed of 40 kilometers per hour about 50 per cent faster than one with a conventional system.

Developers also kept an eye on the sparing use of electrical power. A current regulator ensures that the alternator generates sufficient power when the pump in the ESPpremium system starts up, and that no charge therefore needs to be drawn from the battery. This avoids placing a strain on the car's main battery, and in this way increases its service life.

24 November 2006 Staff

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