New passenger cars and light commercial vehicles sold in Europe now all need to be fitted with an electronic stability program (ESP).
It is estimated that ESP has prevented 190 000 accidents and saved 6000 lives since its introduction in Europe.
At the moment, around 85% of new passenger and light commercial vehicles are fitted with ESP. Electronic stability programs have been mandatory in the US and Canada since 2011.
What does ESP do? Basically, it checks whether a vehicle’s wheels and steering wheel are actually aimed in the same direction. If not, it reduces engine torque. If this doesn’t work, it also brakes individual wheels in an attempt to stabilize the vehicle.
Watch the video below for an interesting explanation of ESP in action.