The first major update in a decade to the Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System will feature a new, more effective radar unit and integration capability with Bendix Wingman Fusion, the company’s advanced driver assistance technology, the company announced during the North American Commercial Vehicle show.
“We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from fleets using BlindSpotter over the years, and with the rapid recent growth in adoption of collision mitigation technology, one of the most frequent requests we’ve heard is for integration of the side-facing radar unit into the active safety systems like Wingman Fusion,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of customer solutions – Controls. “Both systems are robust and effective on their own, and make for a great pairing, but fully linking them through a J1939/CAN connector opens up new capabilities that can help increase safety both on and off the road for today and tomorrow.”
Using a passenger side-mounted radar unit, BlindSpotter is designed to alert drivers to vehicles or objects in adjacent lanes. The new version will offer the same look, size, position, and mounting hardware for the radar and in-cab display units, making it easy to upgrade from the current version or retrofit the entire kit. The next-generation BlindSpotter radar, however, will operate over a significantly wider field of view, allowing it to “see” farther toward both the front and back of the combination or single-unit vehicle.
Linkage with Wingman Fusion means that data from the side radar will be added to the vehicle’s other J1939 information, and, in the future, may be accessible for review through software such as Bendix’s web portal, SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS. These wirelessly transmitted details can then be used to help recognize fleet and driver training needs. As Wingman Fusion continues to advance, the available integration with BlindSpotter will also expand the driver assistance system’s capabilities.
“The more sensors you use to supply a system with information, the more effective that system can be, both in terms of what it ‘knows’ and what it provides in alerts and interventions,” Andersky said. “Incorporating the new BlindSpotter side radar into the mix with Fusion’s existing forward-facing radar, camera, and brake sensors will enhance the system’s abilities on both fronts – enabling more information to the system and additional capabilities, such as enhancing support to help drivers mitigate side swipe crashes in the future. It’s also another example of how today’s current technologies are providing the platform for future automated and autonomous vehicle functions.”
Fusion’s camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.
Bendix stresses that systems like BlindSpotter cannot replace safe, alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, supported by ongoing, proactive driver training programs. These technologies are designed not to replace drivers, or to enable or encourage aggressive driving, but to assist them in keeping roads safe for everyone. At all times, responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains in the hands of the professional men and women in the driver’s seat.
More availability information to come on the soon-to-launch next generation Blindspotter.