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Bosch receives Prince Michael of Kent International Road Safety Award



13th December, 2007

Hermann Kaess, Managing Director of Robert Bosch UK; HRH Prince Michael of Kent; 
Dr Werner Struth, President of Robert Bosch Chassis Systems; Jim Fitzpatrick, 
Department for Transport Minister for Road Transport

Electronic Stability Programme® – recognised as the most important safety innovation of the past 20 years

  • Special Prince Michael Award celebrates two decades of road safety initiatives
  • ESP® can dramatically reduce vehicle skidding accidents

An in-vehicle technology developed by Bosch that has the capacity to dramatically reduce vehicle skidding accidents by over 80 per cent, has received the prestigious Prince Michael Twentieth Anniversary International Road Safety Technology Award. Electronic Stability Programme (ESP®), an innovative chassis systems technology, has been recognised as the most important in-car technology and road safety development since the introduction of the seat belt.

The Prince Michael Twentieth Anniversary International Road Safety Technology Award was presented to Bosch by HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO at an awards lunch in London. ESP® was first fitted to a passenger car, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, in 1995.

ESP® is always alert. Twenty five times a second it compares whether the driver’s steering input corresponds to the actual direction in which the vehicle is travelling. If the vehicle moves in a different direction, the ESP® takes over instantly and applies measured braking pressure to individual wheels. If necessary, it also reduces the engine power to bring the vehicle under control, thus counteracting a skidding accident.

International, independent research continues to support the need for the standard fitment of ESP®. The most recent, published in June this year, by the UK’s Department for Transport has found that vehicles equipped with electronic stability control braking system are 25 per cent less likely to be involved in a fatal accident than those without it – that equates to approximately 380 driver fatal accidents and the reduction of 7,400 slight and serious injuries each year. The DfT’s Minister for Road Transport commented, “This research proves what a powerful tool ESP® could be in saving lives.”

The number of cars equipped with ESP® has increased steadily. In 2004, 37 per cent of newly registered cars across Europe had this life-saving technology on board. The installation rate for the period January – June 2007 stands at 47 per cent in Europe and 45 per cent in the UK. Whilst in the premium car segment ESP® has long been considered a standard safety fitment, in the high-volume small to compact segment this active safety system hardly features as standard equipment and in some models it is not even available as an option.

Commenting on the technology award, Prince Michael of Kent said, “I am delighted to be celebrating twenty years of my road safety award scheme. Since I first became involved in publicising road safety in 1987, I have welcomed the application of new technology to make vehicles and drivers safer. Therefore, I am particularly pleased that Bosch has gained my technology innovation award. Given the obvious advantages of making a car significantly safer by fitting ESP®, it should be fitted as standard equipment on all new cars.”

Dr Werner Struth, President of Robert Bosch Chassis Systems said, “On behalf of my company I am delighted to accept this important road safety award from His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent. I know that our chassis systems engineers and I will take great pride in the fact that our ESP® technology has been internationally recognised for its proven contribution to preventing accidents and saving lives.”

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