By mid-2018, all new cars sold in Malaysia will have electronic stability control (ESC) as a mandatory safety feature. This follows the announcement made by Malaysian transport minister Dato’ Seri Liow Tiong Lai during the “Stop the Crash” event.
Liow went on to say that Malaysia will become the first country in the ASEAN region to mandate this ruling. Most developed countries have recently placed ESC as compulsory in all new cars. Also, studies have shown that the implementation of ESC has reduced road accident fatalities by up to 40 percent.
ESC is also known as Electronic Stability Program (Peugeot cars), Vehicle Stability Control (Toyota), Dynamic Stability Control (BMW) and so on. The technology was first implemented by Mercedes-Benz in the mid-90s.
In layman terms, electronic stability control ensures the vehicle stays intact on the road during a sudden change of direction. Vehicular control is either regained or optimised by applying proper braking force to each wheel, regardless to counter understeer or oversteer. ESC is essentially a life saver in the event of emergency, and this safety feature helps drastically reduce mortality rates.
The video below illustrates how ESP works.
Take for instance, Proton. The company began equipping ESC for the Preve in 2012, subsequently followed by the Suprima S and Iriz models in the later years. Last year, the Perodua Bezza Advance variant became the first Perodua car to be equipped with that feature.
These efforts have paid dividends to both Proton and Perodua during the 2016 ASEAN NCAP Grand Prix award. Proton bagged home with three awards – “The Most Affordable 5-Star ASEAN NCAP Car in Malaysia” with the Iriz, “The Most Affordable 5-Star ASEAN NCAP Car in Thailand” with the Preve, and “The Rising Star Award” with the third-generation Proton Saga. Perodua meanwhile won the “Best Occupant Protection for child and adult” for the small car category with the ASEAN NCAP 5-star rated Perodua Bezza.
Be that as it may, implementing ESC and making it a mandatory safety feature is the start of a long journey to curb fatalities in road accidents. It’s also the holiday season (a really wet one too) now, and most families have begun or are planning that road trip the children have been longing for. Remember, speed kills! So drive safe and have a pleasant month ahead.