On Dec. 7, FIA President Max Mosley presented the trophy to the CEO of Robert Bosch GmbH, Franz Fehrenbach, at the FIA gala in Monaco.
"Bosch has played a pivotal role in the development and promotion of the most effective car safety system since the invention of the safety belt,” Mosley explained. In his acceptance speech, Fehrenbach replied: “This prize is a distinction for all our associates: for the engineers who developed the system, for the associates in our plants who have been producing this system to the highest quality standards for many years now, and not least for the marketing experts who have never tired of communicating the benefits of this system.” The FIA World Prize is presented every year to a person or an organisation that has made an outstanding contribution in the areas of road safety, the environment or mobility.
International accident studies demonstrate that at least 40% of all fatal road accidents are caused by skidding. Some studies have shown that around 80% of all skidding accidents could be prevented with ESP. Bosch’s ESP short for Electronic Stability Program was the subject of a 2007 study by the University of Cologne which yielded results indicating that 4,000 deaths and 100,000 injuries could be prevented in Europe alone each year if the system was installed in all vehicles. In the U.S. the NHTSA determined that each year 10,000 traffic deaths on American roads could be prevented with ESP.
“ESP is a prime example of how innovative safety systems can improve road safety,” said Fehrenbach. Bosch developed the active safety system and in 1995 was the first company to put it on the market. By 2006, 26% of all new vehicles produced worldwide were equipped with ESP. In the first half of 2007, the share of all newly registered cars in Europe fitted with the system was 47%.
In the U.S., legislation was passed in 2007 making ESP mandatory standard equipment for all passenger cars from model year 2012, and the European Commission has also announced its intention to mandate installation of the anti-skid system from 2011. (Tyres & Accessories/Staffordshire, U.K.)