Steane Klose | Mar 7, 2008

Volkswagen have announced their intention to equip all new models with standard Electronic Stability Control or ESP. The standard installation of this life saving technology will begin with 2009 model year vehicles being sold into the North American market.

America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously made it mandatory for all new vehicles to be fitted with ESP come 2012, estimating that it will save a staggering 10,000 lives per year.

If you are not sure just what difference ESP can make when the going gets a little tricky, check out the following video provided by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen’s ESP system uses a number of electronic vehicle controls to assist the driver in maintaining control of the car in difficult conditions. Using a variety of sensors that measure variables such as yaw rate and steering angle, an ESP system has the ability to predict where a driver is intending to steer a vehicle and brake wheels individually or collectively in order to correct the cars attitude in the event of traction loss or excessive over or understeer.

In VW's case, the ESP system works in conjunction with the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Anti-slip Regulation (ASR) system as well as components of the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL) system.

At the time of writing, providing ESP on all 2009 models is a VW North American market initiative only but could be the start of similar moves by other manufacturers.

With recent calls for ESP to be made a mandatory fitment on new vehicles in Australia it shouldn’t be long before we see Volkswagen and other manufacturers take ESP off the options list and make it standard fitment across their model ranges.

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