MeritorWABCO introduces ABS-based electronic stability control

May 1, 2005
MERITORWABCO Vehicle Control Systems announced its new Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for truck/tractor applications, founded on the company's existing

MERITORWABCO Vehicle Control Systems announced its new Electronic Stability Control (ESC) for truck/tractor applications, founded on the company's existing E-version anti-lock braking system (ABS). The announcement came during the Mid-America Trucking Show March 31 to April 2 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The ESC system will be available beginning May 2005 and builds upon the already-established Roll Stability Control (RSC) system currently operating on more than 10,000 commercial vehicles across North America.

“ESC exemplifies our continuing efforts to pioneer stability enhancement technologies,” said Denny Sandberg, president and general manager of MeritorWABCO Vehicle Control Systems. “This new system provides another level of vehicle control by sensing the vehicle's tendency to rotate and automatically applying the brakes to reduce that risk.”

ESC combines the proven features of the company's Roll Stability Control (RSC) system with added yaw (rotational) sensing. This improves vehicle handling and performance if there is an impending loss of control due to rotational forces. These rotational forces may occur as a result of rapid lane change, or cornering maneuvers on slippery surfaces.

RSC is an optional feature of the company's ABS. While RSC provides a great value relationship for most truck operators, some fleets or vehicle types may benefit from the additional yaw stability control integral to the ESC system. To accommodate these needs, the current ABS electronic control unit has been enhanced to enable integration of ESC across a variety of vehicle configurations with different engines, transmissions, suspensions and wheelbases.

MeritorWABCO's Roll Stability Support (RSS) is operating on hundreds of trailers across North America. The RSS system provides improved vehicle stability independent of an ESC- or RSC-equipped tractor, albeit having systems on both the tractor and trailer can achieve even greater levels of vehicle stability.

Brake performance

Addressing anticipated federal government-mandated, shortened stopping distance requirements, ArvinMeritor officials said the company continues to participate in field test studies to develop the best solutions for a variety of vocations.

Per recent communication from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), Advance Notification of the regulation change is due out in early Summer 2005. ArvinMeritor projects the changes will be implemented on a staged basis beginning in 2008. However, the company feels that it is imperative to assist motor carriers today to prepare them for the imminent changes.

“We believe there are various existing braking product alternatives to meet these projected new requirements set forth by NHTSA,” said Paul Johnston, senior director, North American Foundation Brake Business, ArvinMeritor. “While some in the industry believe air disc brakes to be the only solution, we have a range of product offerings designed to best meet a motor carrier's needs.”

Beyond the company's own track and road tests, ArvinMeritor began field testing with various fleets and transportation entities over 18 months ago. These ongoing tests have included:

  • NHTSA tractor and trailer testing of drum and disc brake alternatives to evaluate stopping distance baselines and improvements;
  • Department of Transportation (DOT) field evaluation of air disc brakes and alternative systems for trailers;
  • NHTSA school bus evaluation of air disc and drum brake alternatives, and;
  • Multiple fleet air drum, air disc and hydraulic disc brake alternatives with major refuse, fire truck, city transit, emergency vehicle, truckload, retail and other fleets.