Stability Control, are you ready for it?



  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Interesting thing about suspect being a failed sensor. In
    many cases I've heard about researched, the sensor was
    operating properly, what other factors came into play is the
    question. I remember once, folks are gone now, can't hurt
    to tell on myself, but distracted while driving and rear
    ended a parked car. Turned out to be a HS classmate, and he
    thanked me, got a new car out of the deal. My story at the
    time was I swung at a bee and hit the wheel, I was alergic
    to bees so, plausible. Not that anyone ever omits any
    details but it is possible they got confused ...

    Back to the gyro, the one I was most familiar with had a
    built in default mode along with software defaults where if
    the inputs from gyro, steering and wheel speed sensors were
    out of bounds, the system gave a shut off notice. That
    leaves bad input that mimics normal driving, not real big
    window there. The gyro default was that if it didn't have
    self test data that passed the test it also did a self shut
    off with notice. I am not aware of any cases where sensors
    where found to be at fault.

    The software for the full system is usually a car mfg. item
    using various sensors and yes they look for low cost on the
    sensors. Some but not all do pull back on engine power when
    the system engages. Depends on what they are trying to
    accomplish. If using the front brakes is the answer, using
    engine braking shifts more weight forward than just using
    one brake, being more effective. If however, the rear brake
    is called for then keeping power down is better, some have
    figured it out, Corvette being one.

    Most sytems only have one gyro, BMW however, opted at least
    for some time to go with redundant gyros and compare outputs.
    Some gyros can co-exist with other gyros but there are some
    that seem to give bad data when they get together, it is
    pretty complicated for a finance type like me vs. what the
    engineers can discuss. Last I heard there were four main
    gyro producers with two having the Lion share of the market.
    A German Gyro was in the high end MB, BMW, Porsche, etc.
    while a US gyro was in lower end units of those same mfg's.
    I'm about a year out of date on what is going on currently.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    Ever fall asleep at the wheel, I have, and yes, lucky to be
    alive applies. My MGB carried the scars from that one for
    several years before I sold it. I finally found that
    snacking while driving keeps me awake, what ever works ...
  • jipsterjipster Member Posts: 6,234
    I suspect Mr. Waltrip was drunk when this "accident" occured. Most people who leave the scene of an accident and show up 6 hours later are. Oh, he may have fallen asleep... but it was probably as a result of to much booze. :sick:
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    I guess this is quite possible -- what better way to avoid a DWI rap than sleeping it off for 6 hours? ;)
  • punkr77punkr77 Member Posts: 183
    From the IIHS site:
    This is
    important because ESC reduces the risk of
    single-vehicle crashes by about 40 percent.
    The effect is greater for fatal single-vehicle
    crashes, which are reduced by more than
    half. ESC lowers fatal multiple-vehicle crash
    risk by 32 percent (see Status Report, June 13,
    2006, and Jan. 3, 2005; on the web at
    SUVs benefit most because their high centers
    of gravity make them more likely than
    cars to roll over. ESC decreases the risk of
    fatal single-vehicle rollover crashes of SUVs
    by 80 percent.

    I'll expect the same arguements that were used against seatbelts and airbags citing individual experiences that fall outside of the average. I've had people tell me that they'd be safer if they were ejected from the car rather than belted in. I'm sure there are instances where that's true, but for 99% of crashes it's false.
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    but how were these numbers derived? i for one am not saying it's a non-valuable technology nor am i saying it's not a safety differentiator...and i'm not saying i'd never own a vehicle equipted with ESC, i just don't see the basis for those numbers (yet), and i'm concerned with the additional complexity and cost to maintain, and the collision with current driver behaviors.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,903
    esc has limits. many seem to think it is the best thing since sliced bread.
    since he owns a toyota race team, i figure he was driving the latest and greatest model, although i can't tell from the picture.
    the seatbelt probably saved him.
    2023 Ford Explorer ST, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
    ... but how were these numbers derived? ... "

    The references to the studies have been posted several
    times and you still say to don't know how they were derived.
    Go read the study introduction, not even the whole thing,
    and you will be enlightened! The one I remember from
    several I looked at in the past took two years of crash
    data for a single model and then took two years of similar
    data when the ESC was standard equip. In a world where 34M+
    passenger vehicles are sold annually in the US and EU, that
    does allow for statistically significant data pools. Since
    ESC is the prime difference and since demographics would be
    similar for the same model over time, pretty good study.
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    You're exactly right, and the same methodology was used to prove the real-world effectiveness of both frontal and side airbags (and to show the lack of effectiveness of ABS).
  • user777user777 Member Posts: 3,341
    I must have followed the wrong link. :blush:
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member 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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    "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)."
  • 210delray210delray Member Posts: 4,721
    Camry now, or wait to see what's offered on the '08 Accord.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member 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.
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
  • starrow68starrow68 Member Posts: 1,142
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 6,234
    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%
    2020 Honda Accord EX-L, 2011 Hyundai Veracruz, 2010 Mercury Milan Premiere, 2007 Kia Optima
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 10,042
    "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 Member 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 Member 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 Guest Posts: 52,454
    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?
  • boaz47boaz47 Member Posts: 2,747
    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 Guest Posts: 52,454
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