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Anniversary for life saving technology: 75 million Bosch ESP systems prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents

The Middle East and North Africa have the highest rates of fatal crashes and road fatalities world-wide. Road Safety is therefore an extremely important issue in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In other parts of the world, such as Europe and the USA, the Electronic Stability Program was able to reduce those crash numbers significantly.

In 2012 the ESP was nearly installed in every second new car worldwide, after it proved it could prevent 80 percent of all skidding accidents.

Since 2010 BOSCH has been producing more ESP than ABS units, which was introduced the first time in 1986 in the Mercedes S-Class. Many driver assistance systems are based on ESP and meanwhile ESP is mandatory in many countries.

So, will the decision-makers in the Middle East, North Africa and Egypt finally wake up, do their homework and make the ESP mandatory in all imported CBU and locally-assembled CKD or SKD car models?

Well, at least the German technology leader BOSCH is doing is homework correctly.

Bosch has manufactured 75 million ESP?® systems since series production began in 1995 – and in the process made a vital contribution to greater road safety. Especially on slippery roads and when entering a bend too quickly, the electronic stability program keeps vehicles safely on track.

In this way, it prevents skidding accidents, which can often be particularly severe. Summarizing the findings of many studies of its effectiveness, Gerhard Steiger, the president of the Bosch Chassis Systems Control division, says: “After the seat belt, ESP?® is the most important safety system in cars, and has saved many lives over the past years.â€?

Bosch developed the anti-skid system, and in 1995 became the first company in the world to manufacture it in series production. “Since 2010 Bosch has been producing more ESP?® than ABS units,â€? says Steiger, in evidence of the global trend toward greater safety in cars.
ESP?® becoming standard equipment:

The United Nations considers ESP?® an effective way of countering the expected increase in the number of road deaths in the years ahead. According to studies, this active safety system can prevent up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents.

This is why more and more countries are requiring new vehicles to be fitted with it as standard equipment. In Europe this is already the case for all vehicles whose type approval was granted after October 2011. As of November 2014 it will no longer be necessary to look for ESP?® in a vehicle's list of optional features, since from then on it will be fitted as standard equipment in all new vehicles throughout the EU.

Even today, 72 percent of all newly registered cars and light commercial vehicles in Europe are equipped with ESP?®. In the United States, it is already mandatory in all vehicles up to 4.5 metric tons.

Similar regulations will come into force in the next few years in Australia, Japan, Korea, and Russia. Worldwide, 48 percent of all new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles are now fitted with ESP?®; in China, nearly every fifth new car rolling off the production line features ESP?®.

Since series production began in 1995, Bosch has made incremental improvements to the active safety system, incorporating additional functions. Where the first version weighed 4.3 kilograms, the basic version of the latest Generation 9 is noticeably lighter and more compact at just 1.6 kilograms. Similarly, Bosch has managed to bring its price down, thus playing an important part in making this crucial safety system affordable even for small cars.

Assistance systems are based on ESP:
New assistance systems will make driving even safer and more comfortable. For instance, Bosch is developing functions that automatically maintain a safe distance to the car in front, that guide the vehicle into the tightest of parking spaces, and that warn the driver promptly in critical situations.

Many of these functions have one thing in common: they operate the brakes independently of the driver. It is ESP?® that carries out this braking.

This means vehicles that are already fitted with the system can more easily be equipped with additional safety and comfort functions. Prerequisite is the networking with sensors that monitor the vehicle's surroundings, recognizing other road users and calculating their distance, speed, and heading. Bosch has a broad portfolio of driver assistance functions based on ultrasound-, video-, and radar sensors like adaptive cruise control(ACC) and the predictive emergency braking system.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.4 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries.

If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent more than 4 billion euros for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.� The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

At the end I would like to remind all politicians and decision-makers in the Middle East, North Africa and in Egypt that without having ESP as a mandatory standard feature in all imported and locally-assembled passenger cars, motorcycles, light commercial vehicles, buses and trucks we will never be able to reduce the numbers of deadly crashes and road fatalities.

Many innocent citizens in those countries will lose their lives for crashes, which could have been avoided with ESP if no action is taken soon to make ESP mandatory in the Middle East and Egypt.

Mohamed Sheta
Stuttgart – Cairo – Dubai

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