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Stability Control, are you ready for it?



  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    I want my next car to have auxillary input, side curtain airbags, bluetooth, good fuel economy, good crash test results, good reliability, reasonable price and stability control.

    It's difficult to find something like that. The Altima Hybrid might have been the one, but you have to buy the $5000 option package to get bluetooth and then you have a $30K plus vehicle. You can't get VDC on the 2.5 non-hybrid at all. The 3.5 is pricey and a gas guzzler.

    No VDC on Sentra and Versa.

    Does any vehicle like this exist now?

    I think I can cherry pick that combination of options on the 2007 base model Mini Cooper, but it would fail my reliability requirement. I also have heard rumors than the 2008 Ford Focus might have this stuff available, but reliability might be subpar and resale value will definately be poor. I have also thought of a Dodge Caliber SXT, but reliability and MPG reports have been poor.

    I think the current best choice is the Camry Hybrid or 4 cylinder Camry XLE with optional VSC unless the 2008 Accord has VSA and bluetooth standard on LX or EX 4 cylinder models this fall. I think the next most likely vehicle will be the next generation Honda Fit or Corolla (2009??) unless Nissan has any plans on making VDC available on Sentras and/or Versas in the next year or so.

    Sounds like I might have to wait until stability control is mandated in 2012 to get this combo in features in sub $25K cars. I don't want a Prius and I don't want a bluetooth headset.
    I'd actually prefer to go down to sub $20K economy cars, but I'll look at cars in the 20-25K range if necessary.

    Any suggestions?
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    "I was going to consider the Freestyle. Then I learned that, even though it was based on Volvo S80 architecture and it is marketed as a family-safe vehicle, the Freestyle does not offer stability control...not even as an option. I had just assumed that it would be available. Since that was a mandatory feature for me, the Freestyle was crossed off the list and I eventually got a Nissan Murano (which I had to special order with stability control). For the life of me, I don't understand how Ford can market a vehicle for families, offer airbags, ABS and traction control, yet leave out perhaps the most important safety feature since the seatbelt?"

    Missing Features Pt. 2 (Strategies for Smart Car Buyers)

    Note Joepublic's comment - "But in Ford's defense, stability control probably barely registers on the average buyer's radar. Nobody knows what it is! (Okay, not nobody, but probably less than 10% of the general public)."

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  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    Camry now, or wait to see what's offered on the '08 Accord.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142,1249,680197183,00.html

    Ref's to safety data including ratings with some ESC cars.

    Discussion of new mandate, I thought it was in place but
    some items seem to say it isn't final yet. Also a little
    discussion of differences in systems like the Ford Roll
    Stability Control which has roll measurement in addition to
    Yaw measurement which all systems have.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,744
    It does seem like the hand writing is on the wall. But I think we all knew deep down inside that some of these things were coming. Soon driving will simply be a matter of getting in and pointing the vehicle where you want it to go. ABS was only the beginning. ESC will be easier to convert to I believe and I am looking forward to the new Cruise control devices that will maintain your distance when you come up behind a slower moving vehicle on the highway.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Which companies produce these units for the automakers?

    It seems like their profits should start rising as more and more automakers put it on more cars as the date where stability control becomes mandatory gets closer.
  • jipsterjipster Posts: 5,345
    With more and more vehicle coming equipped with VSC, haven't seen much of a reduction in accidents. Though according to initial reports on VSC they were to reduce accidents by 40-50%
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    There still aren't very many cars with stability control compared to the total population of cars, so the total accident rate is probably unaffected.
    The studies had shown that the reduction of accidents was with those few cars that had stability control.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    My data on systems is getting stale but the major system is an enhanced ABS
    with Stability Control as added functionality. So, Bosch, Continental Teves and
    GM all had their own systems. That was most of the market through 2005, but
    then TRW and Akebono were late to the market. Bosch made the first systems
    for MB using their own gyro and CT/GM used a gyro from BEI, now Schneider Elec.
    Several other Gyro makers have entered the fray in the past couple years. The
    gyro is what measures yaw (about to spin) but then it is the computer program from
    each car mfg that tells the system what to do from that point. Toyota had some
    really terrible systems early on while MB, Porsche, BMW and Corvette had some
    of the best. Oh, the system usually also uses data from wheel speed sensors to
    get wheel slip info as well. Some of the systems use Accelerometers to get linear
    data too, it all adds up to how drivable the system is and how noticable it is, which
    it shouldn't be. All those component mfg'rs have been doing well since 2000.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    If you think a few years of ESC sales will be a major impact, think of the numbers.
    With about 250M cars on the road in the US and sales of say 15M and less than
    50% having ESC, the impact is going to be small until several years after the
    requirement is on 100% of new sales. The saved lives figures were based on 100%
    of the fleet having the system, which may get close about 2020 or later.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    This video makes it look like Toyota's stability control still isn't as good as others.
    It still keeps it from completely spinning out of control, but looks much more precarious.

    Here is a very good extended video of stability control on a Jaguar X-Type.

    The Jaguar did better at high speed on ice than the Tundra did at much lower speed on wet asphalt.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,077
    "The Jaguar did better at high speed on ice than the Tundra did at much lower speed on wet asphalt."

    The pickup truck test looked like it may have been done on a synthetic ice surface (enables icy road testing in milder climates). Even so, both of the pickups slid around quite a bit!
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Well, almost a year later and hardly any posts. ESC is still under the radar.

    Recent info on the migration to the system and studies on impact. 2012 MY
    vehicles are still 2 1/2 years away. Interestingly they do mention that the
    systems are different and that is expected since, as noted, Corvette drivers
    want more leeway than other drivers :). Just glad I've had it for 8 years now.
  • starrow68starrow68 Posts: 1,142
    Interesting news out of Australia:

    Wonder how long it will take to get similar item in US?

    Well since they have figured out how to retrofit truck trailers,
    I would guess that someone will figure it out for the auto market:

    For anyone interested in the Mems market:
    A few mentions of Yaw sensors,
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971
    Interesting stuff, especially the first article with the gizmo that's intended for "race track" use only, and your insurance company isn't going to like you being able to change the stability control parameters.

    Chips are becoming pervasive in car systems eh?

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  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,744
    You know I believe I am getting close to ready to see them put a programing feature into our vehicles like an auto pilot. With the Volvo demonstrations on TV news showing a car that will stop itself if the driver isn't paying attention it seems as if we getting ready for the transportation pods. I didn't like ABS when it came out because I had learned to drive without it. Now I don't even notice unless I happen to be on a slick wet road and my tires slip on the painted white line. I don't think skid control will be noticeable to 99 percent of the drivers. It might be when it comes to the price of the vehicle but not because the driver notices anything. we have become used to power windows, power brakes, power stearing, even electric stearing, some cars have used brake by wire but I haven't tried it. I have seen a HUD and I was slightly impressed. I can get a radio I can talk to and it plays what I want it to. Maybe I am getting ready for a computer car.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,971

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