European automobile manufacturers welcome progress made with ESC safety technology

Date

01 Jul 2008

Sections

Transport
Trade & Society
InfoSociety
Sustainable Dev.

Press release

Brussels, 01/07/2008 - The European automobile manufacturers welcome the progress made in increasing consumer awareness and market take-up of ESC (electronic stability control), as highlighted today at the ‘Choose ESC’ campaign evaluation event in Brussels.

Improving road safety is one of the automotive manufacturers’ key priorities and the industry is an active participant in the ‘ChooseESC’ campaign of the European Commission to explain the benefits of this life-saving technology.

Motor vehicles are today much safer that they were ten to fifteen years ago thanks to improved crash test standards, crumple zones, seatbelts, air bags, and the introduction of safety technologies like ABS and ESC.

ESC is a safety technology that identifies the risk of a skid at an early stage – even before the driver does. It uses the vehicle’s brakes to steer the vehicle safely back on track. Whether the skid is the result of an emergency avoidance manoeuvre or a simple error of judgement, ESC helps the driver maintain control. Of course, overall driving style, infrastructure conditions, the use of other safety equipment, such as seatbelts, and vehicle maintenance all play an essential role as well in ensuring safety on the road.

“ESC is an application that offers important additional safety benefits and it is extremely important that consumers understand fully how this technology can support them”, said secretary general Ivan Hodac of the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association ACEA. “A greater awareness will help increase demand for ESC.” As is the case with all innovations, time is needed for new applications to arrive in all new cars. This is a consequence of the long vehicle development and production cycles (both take up to 7 years) and the consequent complex and continuous process of manufacturers’ portfolio changes.

ESC, however, is being introduced relatively quickly. Today, already 50% of all new cars are produced with ESC and this percentage is rising progressively. The take-up of ESC is clearly related to the awareness and promotion campaigns by the media, the car clubs, the car manufacturers and their suppliers. However, ESC is not the only life-saving product developed in the last years. Many other innovations like multiple airbags, seatbelt strengtheners and reminders, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane driving support and others are coming to market and would need similar attention.

To further increase road safety, car drivers should be encouraged to embrace the available safety applications at an early stage, in combination with a responsible driving attitude, preferably before and during training for their driving licenses.,

ACEA represents the fifteen major European vehicle manufacturers. Its members are: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler, FIAT Group, Ford of Europe, General Motors Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN Nutzfahrzeuge, Porsche, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault, Scania, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen and Volvo.

For further information, please contact Sigrid de Vries, Director Communications, ACEA +32 2 738 73 45 or sv@acea.be Please also visit www.acea.be