Although 95 percent of the world’s vehicles having at least one component with their name on it, Bosch the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has traditionally remained obscure, always preferring to be upstaged by the end-product carmaker brands that use their components. And this despite the pioneering work they’ve done on what are now mainstream vehicle safety systems such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability programs (ESP).

Now, with the recent focus on the dangers of distracted driving and the nuances of outlawing the common causes of these, big and silent Bosch has become less quiet, stepping out from behind their self-imposed obscurity to propose that vehicle safety systems be made mandatory as well.  To give credence to their assertion, Bosch simply points to accident statistics, the initial statistics that pushed them into developing these safety systems in the first place, and the subsequent data that show how effective these systems have been through the years.

Press Statement by Bosch Philippines, “Bosch in Auto Safety Forum 2017: Active Safety Systems in Vehicles Needed for PH to Ensure Safer Roads,” 2017:

Manila, Philippines—Bosch, one of the leading automotive suppliers worldwide, advised the Philippines’ auto industry and government to seriously consider implementing legislative policies that will mandate the use of active safety systems in vehicles as a key element in the country’s road safety program. Speaking at the recently concluded 7th Automobile Safety Forum held in Manila, Andrew Powell, managing director of Bosch Philippines, recommended that vehicle safety technologies, such as Antilock Braking System (ABS) or Electronic Stability Program (ESP), be required as standard fittings across all new vehicles entering the Philippine market.

Bosch believes that every traffic-related death is one too many. “As one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers, we believe that the most substantial impact the auto industry can make is to produce safer vehicles equipped with modern accident-prevention systems such as ABS and ESP. We envision a world of accident-free driving, and for many decades, Bosch has been working on in-vehicle technological advancements to realize this vision,” said Powell

The 7th ASEAN-NCAP Automobile Safety Forum organized by the New Car Assessment Program for Southeast Asia (ASEAN NCAP) in partnership with the Automotive Association of the Philippines (AAP), called for a harmonization of car rating protocols across the region to address the road safety goals declared in the United Nation’s Decade of Action for Road Safety 2010-2020. ASEAN NCAP is a vehicle safety rating program that assesses the safety level of vehicles being sold in the region, with a vision to elevate motor vehicle safety standards and encourage a market for safer vehicles. Most of Southeast Asia has yet to make safety features such as ABS and ESP mandatory in passenger cars and motorcycles. To date, Malaysia is the first and only ASEAN member country to mandate all new cars to be equipped with ESP from 2018 onwards.

Active Safety Systems Proven to Reduce Incidence of Road Accidents

To achieve safer roads, vehicles must have both active and passive safety systems. Passive safety systems provide driver and passenger protection in the event of a crash, such as crumple zones, seatbelts, airbags and child restraints to name a few. On the other hand, active safety systems reduce – if not prevent – road crash incidence through built-in technologies that interpret signals from various sensors to help the driver control the vehicle.

In 1978, Bosch pioneered the world’s first antilock braking system (ABS) for passenger cars. Critical traffic situations, such as sudden traffic jams or obstacles on the road, are now common with increased mobilization, particularly in urban cities. ABS prevents a car’s wheels from locking during an emergency braking scenario, thus ensuring the driver maintains steering control and stability. In Canada, for example, ABS has been associated with a 35 percent decrease in frontal collisions on wet roads, and a 9 percent decrease in frontal impacts on dry roads.

In 1995 Bosch was again the first company to launch the Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to the market as the most comprehensive braking control system, and is today equipped in 64 percent of all new cars worldwide. In sudden maneuvers, ESP detects if skidding is forthcoming and intervenes by applying braking power to individual wheels or reducing engine power in order to restore the vehicle’s stability. In Europe alone, ESP has saved more than 8,500 lives and prevented more than a quarter of a million traffic accidents to date.

Public-Private Collaboration is Key

According to data shared by the Department of Transportation (DoTr), an economic loss of PHP2.25 billion can be attributed to nationwide road accidents in the last six months alone. Sadly, road accidents claim the lives of five Filipinos each day. The Philippine National Police reports 32,269 road crash incidents in 2016, 6.6 percent of which have been fatal.

Data also indicates that more than half of road casualties involve 2-wheeled vehicles. To mitigate their vulnerability to road crashes, Bosch introduced ABS in small two-wheelers that are particularly popular in emerging markets. Motorcycle ABS prevents the wheels from locking, stabilizes the bike, and helps riders to stay upright during abrupt braking. Studies by Bosch show that if every two-wheeler were equipped with ABS, approximately one in four of these accidents could be prevented.

As car ownership in the Philippines continues to expand by approximately 4 percent annually, there is a greater need to update the code on vehicle safety and ensure stricter enforcement of road safety regulations. As such, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) has embarked on a five-point Road Safety Action Plan for the next 6 years that will aim to reduce road accident death rate by at least 20 percent by 2022.

“Bosch lauds the Philippine government for its new initiatives. However, road-safety is long-term commitment that needs the support and involvement of other stakeholders such as the scientific community, NGOs, the industry and the general public,” said Powell. “The improvement of road safety is not something that will happen overnight. There is still much to be done and Bosch is committed to actively contribute to this ongoing collective effort.”

For more information on ABS and ESP, visit Bosch’s online resource on driving safety.