GERMANY: New Bosch ESPpremium close to first OEM fit

By just-auto.com editorial team | 24 November 2006

Bosch has extended its Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) product family to include a new and powerful version called 'ESPpremium'.

ESPpremium has been designed for deluxe cars and above - cars which now feature an ever-larger number of safety and comfort functions. Two un-named automakers will be installing the system before the end of 2006.

"ESPpremium raises the level of comfort, while at the same time providing additional safety and agility," noted Bosch's executive vice president for sales in the chassis systems control division, Herbert Hemming.

"The system can develop braking pressure even more quickly, yet operates more quietly and almost without any vibration."

The braking system plays a central part in many new assistance functions. ESPpremium complements Bosch's existing ESP and ESPplus products and is also based on the generation eight brake control system.

The three systems together cover the varying demands made of the brake control systems when applied in small cars, luxury cars, or in light commercial vehicles.

A primary feature of the ESPpremium is the new pump design, which has six pistons instead of the two used previously. This has allowed a reduction in pressure pulsation - the variation between the lowest and highest values of the braking pressure developed - of 90% in comparison with earlier ESP units.

In turn, this permits brake control that is extremely fast, and yet. the component maker claimed, can scarcely be heard or felt by the driver.

It is additionally possible for the braking pressure to be regulated over a significantly wider range, and to be precisely adapted to any driving situation. Comfort functions can therefore be implemented even more effectively.

For instance, when it works in tandem with the adaptive cruise control (ACC) distance controller, ESPpremium can implement a very comfortable 'Stop & Go' function that automatically brings the vehicle to a gentle halt in high-density traffic.

ESPpremium also develops braking pressure with a much higher dynamic response than conventional systems. This permits extremely fast automatic emergency braking, and also improves the effectiveness of the braking assistant.

Other functions further optimise the agility of the vehicle and its handling. Bosch has grouped its activities in this field under the term 'vehicle dynamics management' (VDM) -the networking of the braking system with active steering and chassis systems.

As an example, when starting on a road that is iced over on one side, a car fitted with ESPpremium reaches a speed of 40km/h (25mph) about 50% faster than one with a conventional system.

Developers also kept an eye on the sparing use of electrical power. A current regulator ensures that the alternator generates sufficient power when the pump in the ESPpremium system starts up, and that no charge therefore needs to be drawn from the battery. This avoids placing a strain on the car's main battery, and increases its service life.