To accomplish the goal of reducing tire slippage, traction control systems use electronic sensors in a similar manner to more familiar anti-lock brake (ABS) systems. They can also use electronic sensors and controls to limit the amount of power delivery that’s available to the driver when road conditions are dangerous.
Traction control systems cannot create traction where there is none, they can only improve existing traction. On nearly friction-less surfaces, like ice, traction control will not help.
If you’ve ever been in a car that skidded out during heavy acceleration, it probably wasn’t equipped with a functioning traction control system (TCS). In the same way that ABS is designed to prevent skids during braking, traction control is meant to prevent skids during acceleration. These systems are essentially two sides of the same coin, and they even share a number of components.