A Brief History of Electronic Stability Controls and their Applications

Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems are still only on a small percentage of U.S. models yet they offer significant improvements in performance by sensing when a vehicle is about to lose control and intervene to keep the vehicle stable. ESC systems, which are known under a host of other acronyms and various trade names, work by using ABS brakes as a foundation and with the addition of sensors measure steering wheel angle, yaw rate and turning force. Software algorithms interpret the sensor data and determine whether the vehicle is travelling the way it should given the driver input. If not, the system automatically activates the brakes on one or more wheels or activates the throttle slightly to bring the car back in line.