FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird has introduced factory-installed electronic stability control for its school buses.

The Bendix Electronic Stability Program (ESP), designed to mitigate and possibly prevent loss-of-control during over- and under-steer conditions, is now available as an option on Blue Bird’s All American and Vision bus lines. Company officials said that Blue Bird is the first North American school bus manufacturer to offer stability control technology.

More than 300,000 commercial vehicles in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are equipped with Bendix ESP, which is an anti-lock brake system-based stability technology that recognizes and assists drivers by providing increased stability and control during bus under- and over-steer driving situations.

The system uses a series of sensors to continuously monitor vehicle parameters, including wheel speed, lateral acceleration, steering angle, brake pressure and yaw rate. The sensors combine to measure driver intent and vehicle direction, reportedly helping to improve driving through automatic interventions such as de-throttling the engine and selectively applying the brakes, typically reacting faster than human response.

“Blue Bird is pleased to partner with automotive leader Bendix to introduce the industry’s first electronic stability control system,” said Phil Horlock, president and CEO of Blue Bird Corp. “Electronic stability control is established and proven in the automotive industry, assisting even the most cautious drivers during rain, snow or clear conditions.”

TJ Thomas, director of customer solutions for the Bendix controls group, added that Bendix has been testing commercial vehicle stability systems on all roadway conditions for more than 14 years.

“From the delivery of our first system, commercial vehicle fleets have recognized the importance of, and widely embraced, the technology,” Thomas said. “We believe the school bus industry will do the same.”

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