Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stability control technology could reduce auto deaths (article) reports: "A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicates that crash deaths on American roads could be reduced by one third if all vehicles were equipped with the Electronic Stability Control."

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems have been around since 1995, and were first used on Mercedes-Benz and BMWs. These systems are pretty amazing, because for the most part they're glorified anti-lock brakes with intelligence. Basically if the car detects the tire is slipping it compensates for it by applying the brakes. If you want to know more how they work, read the following Wikipedia article. The amount of lives this technology can save seems amazing, I hope the statistics are correct.

Now all we need to do is get the government to make the Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) mandatory (Toyota is already releasing this technology in their new Lexus in Japan). Like ESC, the CAS takes advantage of the anti-lock brakes to slow the car down if it gets too close to another vehicle. Back in the early 80's I saw an early proof of concept for this technology on a show called 'That's Incredible'.
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