USA: Ford adds roll stability control to US-built SUVs

By just-auto.com editorial team | 11 December 2003

Ford is claiming a US industry first for its new Roll Stability Control (RSC) system now available as a "segment exclusive technology" for the 2004 Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Navigator after making its debut on the 2003 Volvo XC90.

RSC will also be available on the 2005 Ford Explorer and Expedition and the Mercury Mountaineer.

Ford claims that, unlike any other system on the market, RSC system offers added assistance to the driver in maintaining vehicle control during extreme manoeuvres if a rollover is likely. The system automatically takes additional counter measures to reduce the risk of rollover.

A team led by Todd Brown of Ford Global Core Engineering, Brakes and Chassis Controls Department, developed RSC to reduce the occurrence of rollover accidents. The technology grew out of the team's experience designing the yaw control system (AdvanceTrac) introduced with the 2000 Lincoln LS and Jaguar S-type.

Typical electronic stability control systems are designed to control yaw or skidding only. Ford has coupled its RSC and AdvanceTrac systems to provide even greater safety benefits for the customer. The technology is an active stability enhancement system that significantly builds upon existing yaw stability control systems and adds another dimension of advanced technologies and software to monitor and control a vehicle's roll motion during extreme manoeuvres.

The RSC system continuously calculates if the vehicle may be approaching a situation where rollover is probable and takes action to help prevent rollover.

In Ford's system, a gyroscopic sensor determines the vehicle's body roll angle and roll rate. Along with algorithms embedded in advanced software, this information is used with other vehicle sensors' inertial information including yaw rate, lateral and longitudinal accelerations to monitor the vehicle's roll stability condition approximately 150 times per second. If the vehicle approaches an unstable situation, the system is activated: engine power is reduced and/or the brakes are applied to one or more of the wheels as necessary to help regain vehicle stability.

Ford has a significant number of issued and pending patents on the RSC technology and is making it available to other companies and carmakers via licenses.