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Bendix announces 2015 vehicle active safety systems

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Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC will launch the next generation of its active safety technologies in 2015, introducing stationary vehicle braking and other functions for the North American market. According to Bendix, the next generation technology significantly enhances the performance of its existing systems through stronger, deeper integration and upgraded components. It also delivers alert prioritization and a significant reduction of false alerts that sometimes can be apparent in single-sensor systems.

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Bendix has received overwhelmingly positive feedback after demonstrating the system for numerous fleets and is currently road-testing the system with major commercial vehicle manufacturers, according to the company.

“For decades, Bendix has expanded the frontiers of vehicle safety like no other company, from pioneering antilock brakes to developing the first widely available full-stability solution for the North American commercial vehicle market to launching active cruise control with braking and collision mitigation technology,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president for sales, marketing and business development. “Now, we’ve improved and fused together the most advanced technologies in the Bendix commercial vehicle safety suite to create a system that does more—and does it better—for today’s commercial vehicle market. Fleets can be confident in the system, because at its core are tried and true technologies that have performed reliably over many years and millions of miles.”

The system builds on the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Bendix Wingman Advanced—A Collision Mitigation Technology and AutoVue Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System from Bendix CVS. Bendix ESP addresses both roll and directional stability through sensors that recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control. Wingman Advanced uses a radar sensor mounted to the front of a vehicle to provide active cruise control with braking features, along with collision mitigation technology that delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or at least help reduce their severity. AutoVue links a camera with a wide field of view to an on-board ECU that uses image recognition software to track visible lane markings and detects when the vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change.

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Burkhart noted that along with the additional features and technology integration, the active safety system will also offer fleets real “one-stop shopping” convenience with an all-inclusive, better-performing safety option provided and supported by a single manufacturer.

Bendix’s active safety upgrades and fuses three component technologies—camera, radar and brakes.

“When these systems are fully integrated—‘talking’ directly to each other, in a sense, with multiple sensors confirming situational data—you get far more robust decision making in the system as a whole,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group. “That means more effective alert prioritization and a substantial reduction of false alerts. And this sensor data fusion is also crucial to unlocking new safety capabilities like stationary vehicle braking.”

Stationary vehicle braking is a technological step forward from the stationary object alerts of Wingman Advanced. Currently, the stationary object alert function gives the driver a warning only, of up to 3.0 seconds, when a large metallic in-lane object is blocking the lane of travel. The stationary vehicle braking function not only delivers the warning, with more alert time available, but also can apply the brakes if the system recognizes the metallic object as a vehicle.

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To make this possible, Bendix has adapted technology powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ2 processor with advanced object detection algorithms.

“Today’s announcement merely scratches the surface of what our next-generation safety system can do. Other improvements and new capabilities of Bendix’s next-generation active safety system will be announced as next year’s launch date nears,” Thomas said. “The exceptional menu of enhanced and new features helps elevate safety to a new level.”

The new system will also integrate with SafetyDirect from Bendix CVS, a user-friendly Web portal that provides fleet operators with videos of severe events, along with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers. The system wirelessly transmits real-time driver performance data and event-based information—including videos—to the fleet’s back office for analysis by fleet safety personnel.

“Safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, supported by comprehensive driver training, have always been the first line of defense in preventing accidents,” said Burkhart. “More than ever, SafetyDirect helps recognize and reinforce drivers’ best practices, enabling fleets to strategically enhance and improve their training programs to maximize highway safety.”

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