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A brief history of the ESV Conference

The United States Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Office of Vehicle Safety Research is the official Government agency responsible for the implementation of the International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) held every two years at a venue agreed upon by the participating Government Focal Points (GFPs).

The Conference is hosted by an ESV member country selected in advance by the GFPs representing the participating Governments' transportation organizations. ESV attendees include members of Governments, automobile manufacturers and their suppliers, safety researchers and other motor vehicle safety professionals, medical, insurance, legal and policy professionals, consumers, academia, students, and international media.



The ESV Program originated in 1970 under the The North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO) Committee on the Challenges of Modern Society, and was implemented through bilateral agreements between the Governments of the United States, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, and Sweden. The participating nations agreed to develop experimental safety vehicles to advance state-of-the-art technology in automotive engineering and to meet periodically to exchange information on their progress. Since its inception, the number of international partners has grown to include the Governments of Canada, Australia, The Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, the Republic of Korea, and two international organizations - the European Commission, and the European Enhanced Vehicle-Safety Committee.


In 1971 the Conference was known as the International Technical Conference on Experimental Safety Vehicles. Over time, the focus of the conference shifted from concentration on the development of experimental safety vehicles to broader issues of safety and international cooperation seeking reductions in motor vehicle fatalities and injuries. These issues include program advances in areas such as Pedestrian Safety, Frontal and Side Impact Protection, Biomechanics, Intelligent Transportation Systems, and Vehicle Compatibility.


In 1991, the participating governments agreed to change the name of the Conference to "The International Technical Conference on the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles" to reflect the current focus. The 14th ESV Conference, held in Munich, Germany, in May 1994, was the first conference in which the new name was used, and "25 Years of ESV Development" was celebrated.

The 21st ESV Conference in June 2009 hosted by Germany had a record-breaking array of participants as more than 1000 people gathered in Stuttgart, Germany over the 4-day program. The organizers arranged a historic retrospective of early experimental safety vehicles developed in the 1970s through bilateral agreements.

The 22nd ESV Conference held in Washington, D.C. showcased emerging real-world technologies to advance vehicle safety. For the first time, conference attendees, could experience the potential benefits of these technologies through actual vehicle "Ride and Drive" demonstrations by the manufacturers. Over 40 technical exhibitors provided attendees a firsthand experience of current and futur safety innovations.

Participants experienced numerous highpoints at the recent 25th ESV conference held in Detroit, Michigan, United States, June 5-8, 2017. Our host provided a unique opportunity and forum for the exchange of ideas and the strengthening of global collaboration in improving vehicle safety technologies and standards. Growth of the automotive industry worldwide has brought new partners in pursuit of enhancing global vehicle safety. The conference organizers initiated a scientific peer-review process that recognized outstanding technical papers, giving further prestige to world class authors.


After more than 40 years, ESV continues to keep pace with technical innovation to find new opportunities for advancing safety. A hallmark of the ESV Program continues to be the technical agenda where presentations that are shared are at the leading edge of vehicle safety exploration currently in the area of vehicle automation. As ESV approaches its fifth decade, the organizers continue to strive to present participants with the latest achievements in the field of motor vehicle safety.

The 26th ESV Conference venue is Eindhoven, Netherlands, June 10-13, 2019. The host is preparing to welcome your participation and offer you an informative and inspiring vehicle safety experience. We look forward to your participation at this event.

Tim Johnson
Government Focal Point Chairman
Acting Associate Administrator
Director, NHTSA Vehicle Research and Test Center
General Chair, 2019 ESV Conference

Recent Conference Proceedings

2017 June

25th ESV

Detroit, Michigan

June 5-8, 2017

View Proceedings Site

2015 June

24th ESV

Gothenburg, Sweden

June 8-11, 2015

View Proceedings Site

2013 May

23rd ESV

Seoul, Republic of Korea

May 27-30, 2013

View Proceedings Site

2011 June

22nd ESV

Washington, D.C.

June 13-16, 2011

View Proceedings Site

12 Jul

Berlin, Germany

30217 new street road Berlin, Germany

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