Electronic stability control system (ESP) in cars: Principle, structure and uses

The ESP electronic stability system is considered a vehicle safety standard and is also an indispensable equipment on commercial vehicles. Join CarOn to learn more about the cool things about this system through the following article

What is the ESP electronic stability system?

Electronic Stability Program (abbreviated ESP) is an electronic stability system that is very commonly equipped on cars today to prevent the vehicle from losing control and deviating from the desired trajectory. This system is especially useful not only on high-performance vehicles but is also essential when the vehicle is operating in low-grip conditions such as wet roads, sand, snow, or in situations where emergency steering is required. to avoid obstacles.

The ESP electronic stability system is also known by a number of other names, depending on the brand, this system will have different names and terms such as Mazda uses the acronym DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), Honda uses it. VSA (Vehicle Stability Assist), while Porsche uses PSM (Porsche Stability Control)…

History of formation and development of ESP

Research began in 1983, and in 1987, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW car manufacturers officially introduced anti-slip systems with electronic intervention. This system has an effect on the braking system to help reduce wheel slippage during sudden acceleration. This is considered a major turning point in researching the ESP system.

In 1990, Mitsubishi launched the Diamante (sigma) program. Using an engine intervention method to control the vehicle’s traction is called TCL. From there, it helps the vehicle control stability in conditions of sudden acceleration, slippery roads or when cornering.

By 1992, an “electronic stability program” called ESP (car side-slip control) was developed jointly by Mercedes-Benz and Bosch. This program was applied to their S600 Coupe model in 1995.

Car manufacturers introduced their ESP systems in 1995. Mercedes-Benz, in cooperation with Bosch, was the first company to install this system on the W140 S-class model. That same year, BMW launched the device thanks to Bosch and ITT Automotive (later acquired by Continental Automotive Systems).

Structure of the ESP system

ESP is made up of 5 main parts, signals from horizontal acceleration sensors on the vehicle body, speed sensors on the wheels and steering angle… are collected to determine the actual motion state.

The ESP electronic stability system operates based on signals from a set of sensors such as wheel speed sensors (shared with ABS and TCS systems) to determine wheel slippage, rotation sensors, and acceleration. , steering angle as well as brake pressure to determine when the vehicle tends to overturn, lose control and intervene.

Principle of operation

ESP electronic stability systems do not work individually, they are a combination of many different parts and have a processing “brain” called the ECU.

This system operates based on signals sent from main sensors such as the wheel speed sensor (Wheel Speed ​​Sensor), steering angle sensor (Steering Angle Sensor) and vehicle body rotation angle sensor (Yaw Rate). Sensor)… Before that, people will design pre-determined parameters. If the data transmitted exceeds that parameter, the ESP system will adjust to a safe level and regain vehicle stability.

All data is sent to the electronic balance controller (ESP Module) to calculate and be ready to intervene with the Brake system on the wheels individually to regain balance for the vehicle.

Uses of the ESP electronic balance system

When operating a vehicle on the road, drivers may easily encounter situations such as: steering angle deviation, loss of control, front-end roll-off, and double skidding when having to move in harsh weather or difficult terrain. Such unexpected situations can easily cause accidents because it is difficult for drivers to easily control them without the support of the ESP electronic stability system.

The ESP electronic stability system helps support the driver in controlling risky situations, especially for vehicles with high ground clearance. When driving quickly or in a collision, high-clearance vehicles are often more likely to overturn than other vehicles. Therefore, equipping the ESP system will help limit risks and ensure vehicle safety.

In addition, the ESP system also helps increase road holding ability, thereby limiting loss of control when suddenly accelerating, keeping the steering wheel stable and balanced in all situations.

Identify vehicles with electronic balance

Today, the ESP electronic stability system is a common equipment on most cars sold on the market, except for models in the low-cost segment such as class A and class B sedans and Hacthbacks.

To determine whether your car is equipped with an ESP electronic stability system, you should refer to the vehicle’s technical data sheet before deciding to buy the car. Choosing a car with an electronic stability system will help drivers feel more secure when driving on the road.

Figure 1 is the symbol that most car manufacturers are currently applying and arranging on the dashboard. When the system is active and interferes with the operation, the right light will light up or flash. At this time, we can also often hear the sound of tire screeching when the electronic balance is operating. On the contrary, if the system is turned off, the light will turn on Figure 2 will light up, at this point it can be understood that the system has been disabled. However, this system should not be turned off because any bad situation can happen, so it is necessary to have this system warn in time.

In addition, the ESP electronic stability system on the vehicle is equipped with an off button, so it is easy to identify whether a vehicle is equipped with this system or not by finding the off button for this system.

Button to turn off the ESP electronic stability system

When should I turn off the electronic balance system?

The electronic stability control system (ESP) is designed to always be active, it cannot distinguish between different road surfaces so it can operate differently.

When traveling on mud or sand surfaces, you should turn off this system. Because when the wheel is bogged, the driver needs torque to overcome slippery roads, turning off ESP will help the bogged wheel not brake and synchronize with the remaining wheels.

The ESP system is also often turned off in situations where the driver wants to accelerate quickly, take control of the vehicle, and they have enough knowledge and experience to operate and handle many different situations without needing intervention. system intervention or traction control system. However, you should minimize such situations. If you run inside the racetrack, you can, but if you run outside, you absolutely should not.

The detailed information about the ESP Electronic Stability System that CarOn mentioned above will hopefully help you understand more about your car.

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