The international automotive supplier Continental applauded the United Nations auto safety working group and the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration for adopting Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) for all new light passenger vehicles.
The proposed Global Technical Requirement follows the requirements of the U.S. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard for ESC established in 2007: ESC is required on all light passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2012.
The European Union, China, India and Japan now must propose an ESC requirement in accordance with the regulation agreed to by the working group.
“This is good news for motorists around the world who will benefit from the life-saving benefits of ESC,” said Dr. Karl-Thomas Neumann, CTO and board member of Continental AG.
Traffic crashes are a leading cause of death and serious injury in multiple age groups worldwide and driver error is the most significant factor in most of these crashes.
“As a result, drivers need tools to avoid critical situations in daily traffic and help prevent crashes,” said Dr. Ralf Cramer, president of Continental’s chassis & safety division.
ESC works to automatically correct oversteer and understeer and helps keep vehicles on the road by comparing the driver’s intended direction with the actual direction of the vehicle.
When a discrepancy is detected, ESC applies braking at individual wheels, and reduces engine torque, to help keep the vehicle under the driver’s control.
Neumann hinted at the results of numerous studies in Asia, Europe and North America that demonstrated that ESC can save thousands of lives and significantly reduce the number of crashes.
In the U.S. alone, government studies project that more than 10,000 lives a year can be saved, prompting officials to call ESC the greatest vehicle safety device after the seat belt.
“During the last ten years the number of new cars equipped with ESC has risen steadily to a rate of about 50 percent in the US in 2007, 50 percent in the EU and 25 percent in Japan.
“So there is still some room left for further improvement.
“Overall these are exciting times for companies in the business of promoting safety.
“A Global Technical Requirement means ESC suppliers such as Continental as well as auto manufacturers only have to meet one regulatory standard, not several.
“This improves efficiency and reduces costs by eliminating market-specific design variations, validation tests and manufacturing requirements.”
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