What do ESP, VSC, VSA, VDC, ESC, YSC, Stabillitrack, IVD and assorted other names and acronyms have in common? They all describe essentially the same functionality on cars and trucks provided by various car makers around the world. Every one of these is a name applied to electronic stability control systems. At their core, all of these systems have sensors that measure what the driver is requesting the vehicle to do and what the vehicle is actually doing. They use the brakes and engine management system to adjust a vehicle's behavior to try and match the driver's desire. Unlike with anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traction control (TCS), automakers have never converged on a common name for electronic stability control systems. Transport Canada
, however, is working to change that by developing an educational program for Canadian drivers to help them learn about stability control. That includes using the common nomenclature ESC and having a universal logo to distinguish vehicles equipped with the system. With ESC systems quickly becoming universally available, it's about time for companies to drop their marketing terms and move on to something else that makes their vehicles unique.