2011 GMC Terrain will feature StabiliTrak with traction control technology as standard

Article by Christian Andrei, on April 14, 2011

GMC talked about the safety benefits provided by StabiliTrak with traction control technology, which is offered as standard on the 2011 GMC Terrain. GMC dubs this safety feature as the “control freak” as it is an advanced, computer-controlled system that helps with directional control in hard driving conditions.

StabiliTrak is activated once the computer senses a difference between the intended path and the direction that the vehicle is traveling. To help steer the vehicle in the right direction, StabiliTrak may apply braking pressure to the brakes or it may reduce the engine power.

These moves occur in milliseconds without requiring any driver input. Performance integration engineer Bret Dick, who helped develop StabiliTrak, said, “The best crash is the crash you avoid." He said that active safety systems such as StabiliTrak with traction control are meant to keep the GMC Terrain on the road while avoiding spinouts.

He added that this technology will be developed further to increase road safety. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety said that electronic stability control systems like StabiliTrak have cut the risk of being involved in a fatal crash by 33% in the past decade.

In fact, it’s considered to be the most significant safety feature since the safety belt was developed. The GMC Terrain also offers other safety features like the head curtain side air bags and OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response, which alerts first responders to get medical assistance on site immediately.

General Motors was the first local carmaker to make available an electronic stability enhancement system, with GMC offering StabiliTrak in its models in 2003. StabiliTrak is laden with features like traction control, Trailer Sway Control, Rollover Mitigation and Panic Brake Assist – all of which could help prevent crashes.

This technology is of the several GMC safety systems developed to protect vehicle occupants not only before, but also during and after a crash. The new GMC Terrain is also provided with head curtain side air bags that could protect occupants during a crash.

After such incident, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response will take over to alert first responders for immediate medical assistance. Dick remarked that his interest StabiliTrak engineering was prompted by the BMX trails near his childhood home in Rochester, New York.

He quipped that racing BMX bikes gave birth to his curiosity into how things work, adding that even at the present, he intuitively and mentally breaks a machinery or electronics down to figure out how it works. Since the winter season for 2010-2011 has been particularly harsh in many parts of the United States, Dick remarked that customers have been thanking him for the StabiliTrak with traction control, which helped them avoid crashes in rough weather.

Press Release

GMC ‘Control Freak’ Tech Avoids Crashes

StabiliTrak with traction control, standard on the 2011 GMC Terrain, is a control freak – but in a good way. It doesn’t nag or tell you how to drive, but when a vehicle is about to lose control, StabiliTrak springs into action – and takes charge.

StabiliTrak with traction control is an advanced, computer-controlled system that assists with directional control of the vehicle in difficult driving conditions. StabiliTrak activates when the computer senses a difference between the intended path and the direction the vehicle is actually traveling. StabiliTrak selectively applies braking pressure to the vehicle's brakes, and in some cases, reduces engine power to help steer the vehicle in the intended direction.

It all takes place in a fraction of a second, without driver input. This “control freak” is there when you need it, and invisible when you don’t.

Performance integration engineer Bret Dick is part of the team that developed StabiliTrak. He describes the life-saving technology as a milestone in taking crash avoidance to a new level.

“The best crash is the crash you avoid,” Dick said. “Active safety systems like StabiliTrak with traction control are designed to keep the GMC Terrain on the road while avoiding spinouts. Future developments will build on this technology to make the roads safer for all drivers.”

StabiliTrak is the most significant safety feature since the development of the safety belt. It is already making a big difference in improving safety on America’s roads. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, electronic stability control systems such as StabiliTrak have reduced the risk of being involved in a fatal crash by 33 percent during the past 10 years.

General Motors was the first domestic manufacturer to offer an electronic stability enhancement system. GMC first introduced StabiliTrak in its models in 2003. The technology is among many GMC safety technologies designed to protect occupants before, during and after a crash. StabiliTrak with traction control and new features including Rollover Mitigation, Trailer Sway Control and Panic Brake Assist can help drivers avoid crashes.

Other technologies on the GMC Terrain, such as head curtain side air bags, help protect occupants during a crash. After a crash, OnStar’s Automatic Crash Response alerts first responders to get medical assistance on site as quickly as possible.

Dick’s interest in StabiliTrak engineering was actually sparked at the BMX trails near his childhood home in Rochester, N.Y.

“Racing BMX bikes started a lifelong curiosity into how things work,” Dick said. “Even today, when I see a piece of machinery or electronics, I intuitively start breaking it down in my head to figure out what makes it tick.”

With the 2010-11 winter season being particularly harsh in many parts of the country, Dick said he’s been thanked by customers who avoided crashes in inclement weather, thanks to StabiliTrak with traction control, which will continue to be standard on 2012 models.

Topics: gmc, gmc terrain, suv

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