Published on June 19th, 2016 | by Subhash Nair0
Inventor of ESP Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from European Patent Office
Today in Lisbon, Anton van Zanten was honoured for his invention of the ESP electronic stability program with the 2016 European Inventor Award. The award, which is conferred by the European Patent Office (EPO), was presented to him in the “Lifetime achievement” category. The Dutch native developed the anti-skid system as the head of a 35-member research group at Bosch, during a career that spanned more than 25 years.
The system was first featured as standard equipment in the Mercedes-Benz S600 in 1995. In Europe alone, ESP has saved more than 8,500 lives and prevented more than a quarter of a million traffic accidents to date. That makes anti-skid protection the most important vehicle safety system after the seat belt – more important even than the airbag.
Using smart sensors, ESP compares 25 times per second whether the car is actually moving in the direction that the driver is steering it in. If the measured values do not match, the anti-skid system intervenes, initially reducing engine torque. If that is not sufficient, it additionally brakes individual wheels, generating the counterforce needed to keep a vehicle safely on course. If all vehicles were equipped with the anti-skid system, up to 80 percent of all skidding accidents could be prevented.
Since November 1, 2014, ESP has been mandatory within the European Union for all newly registered cars and light commercial vehicles weighing up to 3.5 metric tons. In addition to the EU, the anti-skid system is also mandatory in Australia, Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, and the United States. Worldwide, 64 percent of all new vehicles are therefore already equipped with ESP. Bosch has manufactured more than 150 million ESP systems to date.