EU Mandate Calls for Compulsory ESC on Commercial Vehicles

March 25, 2009
The European Union has approved a mandate that sets better standards to improve road safety in Europe

The European Union has approved a mandate that sets better standards to improve road safety in Europe, including the EU’s new regulation to introduce electronic stability control (ESC) systems on new heavy commercial vehicles from November 2011.

The number of fatalities on Europe’s roads has decreased by 24 percent since 2001, according to the EU, which earlier this month mandated rules for new safety technology such as ESC, advanced emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems to be compulsory on heavy-duty trucks and buses to further reduce accident risks. AEB systems will be mandatory in Europe from November 2013.

Currently, less than 10 percent of the total number of heavy-duty trucks produced in Europe are equipped with ESC, which improves directional stability and helps protect against roll-over, skidding, spinning and jack-knifing.

WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC), a tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry that has sold more than 50,000 ESC systems since its introduction, applauded the new regulations.

“We welcome the European Union’s new rules for safer, greener, quieter commercial vehicles, and we support the EU’s sense of urgency to push new safety technologies ahead faster,” said Jacques Esculier, WABCO Chief Executive Officer. “In our leadership position as an integrator of commercial vehicle safety and control systems, we are proud to contribute to the EU’s aim of improving road safety, especially through the early introduction of electronic stability control.”

WABCO expects a sharp increase in the number of tests to be conducted at the company’s proving ground in Germany, as manufacturers of commercial vehicles adapt and certify ESC systems for their different ranges of models before November 2011.