Home > Bosch launches new safety system for trailers and caravans

Bosch launches new safety system for trailers and caravans

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article image Bosch Trailer Safety Control testing with protective outriggers

Robert Bosch Australia announces a new safety system for trailers and caravans designed to increase control and mitigate sway in the vehicles. Bosch has been a leader in automotive safety systems such as Antilock Braking (ABS) and Stability Control (ESP) for 40 years.

A company at the forefront of innovation in vehicle technology, Bosch Australia recently showcased the Trailer Safety Control (TSC) system for fitment to caravans and trailers equipped with electric brakes and towed by passenger vehicles. Based on Bosch’s state-of-the-art vehicle safety technologies developed over more than 40 years, the system demonstrates the company’s diversification into new products and markets including the global caravan and trailer sector.

The Bosch Trailer Safety Control system is the first ‘on trailer’ system from a recognised leader in vehicle safety systems to combine trailer sway control and ABS. The system can be applied to all trailers that are fitted with electric brakes, with the exception of truck trailers.

Gavin Smith, President of Bosch Australia says their 200-strong automotive engineering team is busier than ever despite the end of volume passenger car production in Australia this year. He adds that Trailer Safety is a great example of how to apply existing capability to an adjacent and attractive niche with global potential.

The latest development from Bosch seeks to address the risk posed by trailers swaying and fishtailing out of control on the road. Similarly, drivers of vehicles with a trailer in tow fear losing control while negotiating the twists and gradients of the road. Both situations can be stressful, not only for drivers but also for other road users.

Trailers can easily become unstable and cause accidents when braking, swerving, overtaking, driving in high winds or on difficult roads. In 2016, loss of control accounted for 30 percent of caravan accident claims, with oversteering and fishtailing among the main causes.

Global Centre of Competence for Trailer Safety

The need for a solution to this problem was identified by the Australian Vehicle Safety Systems engineering team, kick-starting an R&D project in 2014. Bosch’s parent company acknowledged the local engineering capability and market opportunity, leading to the establishment of a global Centre of Competence for Trailer Safety in Australia in 2015.

Trailer Safety Control

Trailer Safety Control is an active safety system designed to aid accident prevention by incorporating ABS, sway mitigation and other value-adding functions for new caravans and trailers with electric brakes. It has the potential to reduce the number of trailer related incidents by up to 45 percent. Drivers will also have the assurance that the system will automatically intervene when necessary at the first sign of instability or wheel lock, helping alleviate their stress levels while towing.

Mounted to the trailer’s chassis, the system comprises of an Electronic Control Unit (ECU) with integrated motion sensor and wheel speed sensors. These sensors determine the movement of the trailer and the speed of each individual wheel, respectively. The brain of the system, the ECU, will be manufactured at Bosch's production facility in Clayton.

Bosch is working with DexKo Global, Inc. a global expert in trailer brake development, to ready the Trailer Safety Control system for the market early in 2018.

Watch the Bosch Trailer Safety video.

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