In 1995, Bosch launched the industry’s first electronic stability control system in the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. In the ensuing 25 years, the system has gone from a high-tech gadget for luxury cars to a mandatory feature for all cars sold in the United States. The system has saved 15,000 lives and prevented just under half a million crashes that would have involved personal injuries, Bosch claimed in a press release Tuesday.
Development of electronic stability control—which manipulates engine torque and a car’s brakes to counteract skidding—began in 1983. Looking for a way to improve stability while braking hard in corners, engineers experimented with individual wheel slip, using a modified anti-lock braking system.
Bosch continued to develop the technology through the end of the 1980s, partnering with Mercedes parent Daimler in 1992 to put stability control into production. The system debuted on the S-Class in 1995, but was initially standard equipment