Issue: May 2007


Bosch Reaches Brake Control Systems Milestone



by Lenny Case

Bosch has produced and shipped the company's 150 millionth brake control system, a milestone for a technology that began with antilock braking system (ABS) approximately 30 years ago, followed by other Bosch system innovations such as traction control system (TCS) and electronic stability control (ESC). Currently, Bosch produces more than 65,000 brake control systems daily at six locations worldwide, and in 2007 the production network will expand with a new facility in Brazil.

"This production milestone is a clear example of our customers' growing demand for our innovative and reliable automotive products that provide increased vehicle safety and stability," said Scott Dahl, director of marketing and product planning, Robert Bosch LLC. "Bosch's ABS, TCS and ESC technologies are proven to deliver an outstanding level of safety for consumers, and we continue to develop additional features to increase future vehicle safety."

In 1978, Bosch launched the first electronically controlled ABS, followed in 1986 by TCS and ESC in 1995. Bosch, the company that pioneered ESC, first brought the technology to market on the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Today, Bosch ESC is featured on such vehicles as the BMW X3, BMW X5, Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Silverado, Chrysler Pacifica, Dodge Durango, GMC Acadia and Toyota Camry.

ESC builds on a foundation of ABS and TCS technology to function instantaneously and independently of the driver's actions. The system maintains continuous analysis of driving conditions to determine the driver's intended course with respect to the vehicle's actual movement. If unintended action, such as "fishtailing," is detected, ESC applies precisely defined brake pressure to the appropriate wheels and, if necessary, reduces engine torque, significantly decreasing the risk of an accident.

An Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) study released in 2006 highlighted the significant safety benefits of ESC by determining that if installed on all vehicles, ESC could prevent nearly one-third of fatal crashes each year, up to 10,000; reduce rollover risk by as much as 80 percent; and reduce insurance losses under collision coverage by approximately 15 percent.

Additionally, Bosch is the leader in the ongoing development of ESC by expanding the innovations to include features such as roll mitigation function (RMF), used to aid in the prevention of vehicle rollover in high center of gravity vehicles, and trailer sway mitigation (TSM), used to prevent unstable oscillations and trailer sway. Bosch also offers other value-added ESC functions, including hill descent control, hill hold control, soft stop, traffic jam assist and controlled deceleration driver assistance systems.

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