This is the invention that saved the most lives after the seat belt. And it was developed by accident, literally. In 1989, a Mercedes-Benz engineer, Frank Werner Mohn, lost control of his E-Class (W124) in Sweden, while going to the manufacturer's test track. As he waited for help, he wondered if it would be possible to use the ABS brake sensors to monitor the speed of each wheel and to make the brakes selectively activate to avoid accidents like the one he had just survived.
Fortunately, the manufacturer looked positively at the idea and Mohn began to develop an algorithm that would allow to calculate how much each wheel would have to brake to stabilize the vehicle. When he succeeded, he increased the number of ABS sensors and added a new part to his test prototype vehicle: a gyro of a radio controlled helicopter capable of measuring the vehicle's rotation on its vertical axis.
In 1992, Mercedes-Benz began developing an electronic stability control in cooperation with Bosch for its production models. The system debuted in the Mercedes CL 600. A technology that since November 2011 is mandatory in all cars sold in the European Union.