Electronic Stability Program or ESP is a system that prevents accidents by detecting and reducing the loss of traction. The ESP function comprises the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) and the Traction Control System. A host of other sensors such as Wheel Speed Sensor, Steering Angle Sensor, and Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) work in tandem to detect and counteract the vehicle skid.
How does it work?
The Steering Angle Sensor determines the desired direction of the vehicle. Wheel speed sensors, placed in each wheel, determines the speed of the wheel. The IMU measures the movement of the vehicle along the vertical axis. The processing unit gathers all the data and determines the actual vehicle direction and compares it with the desired direction of travel. This happens multiple times in a second. If the values do not correspond, then the system initiates the countermeasures, without the driver requiring to interfere.

First, it reduces the engine power to restore vehicle stability. If it is not enough, then brakes are applied to individual wheels, thereby counteracting the skid.

The video by Bosch Mobility Solutions, explains the functionalities of the ESP using the first generation Mahindra XUV 500. First, the video shows the XUV 500, trying to avoid a suddenly appearing obstacle. Without ESP, the vehicle loses its control and goes into a spin. On the contrary, the vehicle equipped with ESP stays in course after the sudden maneuver.

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The video then moves on to explain the other value-added functionalities such as Traction Control System and Hill control. The TCS controls the wheel spin when accelerating or starting off. The XUV 500 tries to move on a slippery surface with an incline. Without ESP, the wheels start to spin and the vehicle goes down the slope uncontrollably. With the TCS enabled, it reduces the drive torque on each driven wheel and the vehicle moves up the slope with ease. It also explains the Hill Ascent Control where the system holds on the brake for about 2-3 seconds while climbing. Thereby, it prevents the vehicle from rolling back in the time it takes the driver to switch from the brakes to the throttle pedal. The hill descent system automatically engages the brakes and all the driver has to do is to maneuver the vehicle.

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