An icy crash led to the invention of electronic stability control…
Millions of people are alive and hundreds of millions are safer thanks to this man.
Did you know; Stability control has saved hundreds of lives
You will have used your ESC, I promise you. That system than monitors your steering, wheels, and accelerometers on board your car was invented by an engineer at Mercedes Benz in 1989.
In fact, Frank-Werner Mohn had himself crashed in Sweden on an icy road and it brought about a big idea. He worked on the team that developed ABS on cars and was convinced that the system could be extended and its abilities improved with the help of Bosch. But Bosch were working on their own system that worked when, and only when, you braked. Mercedes Benz, now onboard with his idea, agreed that it should be live all the time and ESP was born.
ESP will control your engine power, operate your brakes at individual wheels to prevent skidding or loss of control.
During the initial build process in 1989, sensors small enough to live on board your car and take virtually no power simply did not exist. The research team took just such a part from a remote control helicopter. This in turn was replaced by one from a missile. The nearly finished product got the go ahead after a test on an ice lake with company executives.
Initially a very expensive system, ESP was reserved for the S-Class Mercedes. But following a journalist flipping an A-Class in a reversing and swerving test, Mercedes fitted it across the range. Mercedes Benz gave the patent for the product to several technology supplying companies, without charging penny. The benefit to Mercedes Benz was the massive reduction in cost of the system.
Now virtually every car and van produce has ESP.