Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is an essential safety feature designed to help drivers maintain control of their vehicles, especially in critical situations like sudden swerves or with challenging driving conditions. ESC activates in these critical situations to prevent the vehicle from skidding, spinning out, or rolling over.
Each vehicle wheel is equipped with wheel-speed sensors that measure the rotational speed of each tyre. These sensors continuously monitor the speeds of the wheels to detect any differences in rotation among them. These differences can indicate a potential loss of traction.
The yaw-rate sensor measures the rotation of the vehicle relative to its vertical axis. The information allows the system to detect any deviations from the intended direction of travel.
The lateral acceleration sensors measure the sideways forces on the vehicle when turning or moving from side to side.
The steering-angle sensor keeps track of the driver’s steering actions. It measures the angle of the steering wheel to figure out which way and how much the driver is turning the wheel.
The control unit continuously analyses the information coming in from the sensors. The vehicle’s actual behaviour is compared with the driver’s inputs and predetermined thresholds. This allows it to assess the driver’s intended direction and determine the appropriate response to keep the vehicle on its intended path.
If an intervention is necessary to maintain stability, the control unit promptly intervenes through the hydraulic unit, which is responsible for adjusting the brake pressure in the individual wheel brakes.
How ESC Works
When the ESC senses a possible loss of steering control or instability, it automatically uses brakes on specific wheels and adjusts engine power. In the process, ESC selectively applies braking to specific wheels: the outer front wheel to counter oversteer (when the rear slides out) or the inner rear wheel to counter understeer (when the front doesn’t respond to steering). By doing so, ESC helps the driver regain control and bring the vehicle back on its intended path.
ESC has proven to be very effective in reducing accidents and making vehicles safer. Typically, it works along with other safety systems like anti-lock braking system (ABS) and traction control system (TCS) to offer a safer driving experience.
- Electronic Stability Program
- Dynamic Stability Control
- Vehicle Stability Control