Fifteen years ago next month Daimler-Benz first introduced ESP, a technology codeveloped with Bosch, on its Mercedes-Benz S600 Coupé. The technology became standard across the Mercedes-Benz range by August 1999.
Unfortunately the trickle down effect of this vital piece of safety technology has taken some time for the industry as a whole to adopt with many manufacturers still struggling to offer the life saving technology - even as an option - in many of their vehicles.
ESP has saved countless lives since its implementation by reducing the risk of skidding on cornering and by maintaining the vehicle’s directional stability - even in critical conditions.
This is achieved by selectively braking individual wheels, thus counteracting the tendency to skid in critical handling situations and allowing the driver to maintain control of the vehicle.
Oversteer is corrected by applying brake to the front outer wheel, understeer by applying brake to the rear inner wheel. Engine power can also be limited in some applications.
Let's hope it doesn't take another 15 years for ESP to be offered as standard in all vehicles of any brand.