Stability Control

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GarySheehan
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Post by GarySheehan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:49 pm

Interesting read from ConsumersUnion.org.

http://www.consumersunion.org/pub/core_ ... 01186.html

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Post by GarySheehan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:53 pm

More from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety...

http://www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr061306.html

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Post by GarySheehan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:56 pm

From Answers.com...

Criticism

Some people contend (backed up by the theory of risk compensation) that the perception of safety conferred by the ESC will encourage more dangerous driving. The Partnership for Safe Driving is among those concerned that ESC is just the latest example of a long and ultimately unsuccessful campaign, in the U.S. and abroad, to make cars that are capable of compensating for dangerous driving behavior.[4] The Partnership believes that if no corresponding effort is made to deter speeding, aggressive, distracted and drowsy driving, this technology will not live up to its promise and may, in fact, encourage even more dangerous driving behavior. This theory has been mocked since most road users do not understand these systems and hence just drive as they normally would. The theory has also been dismissed by many due to the fact that statistics from manufacturer's such as ESC pioneers, Mercedes Benz, clearly show the decrease in road accidents after the introduction of the technology.[5]

Some driving enthusiasts object to some of the implementations of ESC. They contend that by making it impossible to explore the dynamic behavior of their cars, overzealous ESC systems spoil much of the fun of driving. Consequently, some manufacturers allow drivers to disable ESC systems, and/or use ESC systems that allow greater levels of under or oversteer before it intervenes. Some even provide a setting so the user can choose whether the system will intervene earlier or later stage. Enthusiasts have also begun to modify ESC systems to suit their preferred driving styles.[6]

It has also been argued that ESC is being used as a "catch all" for poorly designed cars, whereby the basic mechanical handling of a car is unstable and ESC is used to compensate for the problem. However, except in the case of low-end economy cars, and the Mercedes A class, this argument is largely without merit, as high-end performance and/or safety oriented brands like BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Volvo were among the first to adopt ESC.

Another point of critique is that in the case of very dangerous drivers, the car will be able to be pushed further (and faster) before the limits of the vehicle and ESC are reached, meaning that should the vehicle become "out of control" this will happen at higher speeds, leading to more severe crashes. Realistically this scenario is not possible under the ESC program because ESC only controls power delivery and braking and does not increase the physical traction limit of the vehicle. Therefore the vehicle cannot be pushed faster through a corner than is otherwise capable by a skilled driver also approaching the traction limit. The implementation of the ESC program will only control a number of variables including braking, throttle opening and/or injector pulse or ignition timing to reduce power to the road thereby preventing a driver from approaching and surpassing the physical traction limits of the vehicle.

In the event that the vehicle is out of alignment, has dissimilar sized left/right tires fitted, or has a tire with low enough air pressure to affect the steering wheel angle, the yaw rate sensor would conflict with the steering wheel sensor. If this were the case, the vehicle's Powertrain Control Module may interpret the driver's actions as trying to turn the vehicle, rather than compensation for a mechanical problem. However, ECU programmers are familiar with this type of issue, and use cross-correlation between sensors to identify problems.

Overall, ESC systems have resulted in a marked drop in accident rates, overriding most arguments against its implementation.[7]

Perhaps the harshest criticism of ESC systems has been the reluctance by some manufacturers to fit it as standard across all of their models. Specifically, some manufacturers have restricted its fitment to higher specification model variants as a means of encouraging buyers to purchase them, at greater cost. Given the effectiveness of ESC in reducing crashes and saving lives, some safety advocates have accused manufacturers who have offered ESC on their models in this way of cynical marketing.
Last edited by GarySheehan on Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by GarySheehan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:04 pm

And finally, from Consumer Affairs.com...

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2 ... ility.html

Cliff notes: All vehicles in the US will have ESC by 2012.

Nearly all rollover crashes occur after a vehicle leaves the road.

Auto safety experts describe stability control systems as the single most important vehicle safety improvement since the seat belt.

NHTSA estimates that ESC will save between 5,300 and 10,300 lives annually and prevent between 168,000 and 252,000 injuries.

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Post by Ecmslee » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:16 pm

And thus we've reached </thread> thanks to Gary. :lol: It was certainly an interesting thread to follow.

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Post by GarySheehan » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:39 pm

For anyone still reading, if you would like to achieve your own Mr. KnowItAll status in this field, you can attend the SAE seminar titled Introduction to Brake Control Systems: ABS, TCS, and ESC presented by James Walker.

Afterwards, if you tell him that I sent you, he might tell you some funny stories about how strong the beers are at Naja's Place or tell you why HE should've been the one to drive the McLaren.

Heck, I'll even share the notes I wrote in my course text with you.

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Post by watkins » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:03 pm

GarySheehan wrote:For anyone still reading, if you would like to achieve your own Mr. KnowItAll status in this field, you can attend the SAE seminar titled Introduction to Brake Control Systems: ABS, TCS, and ESC presented by James Walker.
Getting your jollies from trying to outsmart a teenager, eh? Nah, I kid. Looks like interesting reading.

Im just saying theres no absolute evidence against that SUV having ESC. Certainly looks like it doesnt to me though.

I read a bunch of other stuff too, which is where I learned about the Volvo system. Its quite interesting actually. The gyroscopes sense when the car is at a certain degree from level, which automatically sends out the side curtain airbags before the car is even all the way on its side. This is definitely the kind of system ESC was meant to be. Not only does it work to avoid rollovers etc, but it protects you in the situations that it fails to prevent catastrophy. I can see the potential for accidental airbag release, but my guess is that the angle is so extreme that the car would never get that far over under non emergency situations without a stunt driver.
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Post by Leedeth » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:22 pm

GarySheehan wrote:From Answers.com...
Just FYI, answers.com hosts a mirror copy of Wiki, and an old one at that. So don't use it.

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Post by six » Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:10 am

This thread was absolutely a great read, and very informative. The ping-pong match between the opposing views only furthers our knowledge and understanding of the matter. Without debate, we do not get the whole story.

I now know more than I have ever before about ESC, and about what my car will do if I am ever in a critical emergency maneuver.

Thank you.
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Post by comingbackdown » Fri Jan 25, 2008 9:02 am

If I get a car with stability control. my one and only demand would be the ability to turn it off. I really wouldn't want to have a track day and have a computer screw up a lap just because it thought I was in danger.
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Post by Johnf514 » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:08 pm

Good job on arguing your points, guys. I appreciate that no one got (too) personal, and at watkins: I don't Gary gets any jollies from outsmarting anyone, I just think he wants you (and all of us) to realize how slim of a margin driving has. Anything to help out the average driver (TSC, DCS, etc) is worth using.

I do think this thread is done. :)
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