LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In just its second full year on the market, Bendix Wingman Advanced — a collision mitigation technology — far exceeded first-year sales, growing more than 25 percent year over year, Bendix officials announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show here.
And, as government regulations surrounding safety technology continue to be discussed and promulgated, said Fred Andersky, director of governmental affairs, marketing, charging for Bendix, it’s important to make sure mandates coming down the pike are the most optimum technology.
Bendix Wingman Advanced provides drivers with following distance alerts and, if necessary, will apply vehicles’ foundation brakes to help drivers potentially avoid collisions or help reduce the severity of collisions. The solution expands on the technology of Bendix Wingman ACB — Active Cruise with Braking, which was introduced in 2009.
“Active safety and braking technologies from Bendix help fleets, owner-operators, and drivers significantly reduce the potential for experiencing costly accidents,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group. “For example, fleets utilizing Bendix Wingman Advanced regularly report an estimated 60 to 80 percent reduction in rear-end collisions, saving them millions of dollars in out-of-pocket costs the first year of use and millions of dollars in potential losses in years to come.”
Delivering active cruise control with braking features, along with collision mitigation technology, Bendix Wingman Advanced builds on the company’s full-stability technology – Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program. Used in conjunction, Bendix’s complete safety solutions can help drivers in collisions, rollovers, and loss-of-control situations.
OEMs are recognizing the safety benefits and the monetary benefits of this type of technology, Bendix spokesmen said. In 2012, Kenworth Truck Company and Peterbilt Motors Co. both added the technology as an option on select Class 8 trucks. And Ohio-based R&J Trucking Inc., one of the largest bulk commodity hauling companies in the country, has already equipped nearly 200 of its 550 company-owned trucks with Bendix Wingman Advanced and is adding 100 more this year, they noted.
Bendix Wingman Advanced delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or, at least, help reduce their severity. The system uses a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle to provide following distance and stationary object alerts. These alerts are always available above a minimum speed – whether or not cruise control is engaged. When drivers use their cruise control, the adaptive cruise control with braking feature will actively intervene to help them maintain a safe following distance behind a forward vehicle by reducing throttle, engaging the engine retarder, or, if necessary, applying the foundation brakes.
The collision mitigation feature of Bendix Wingman Advanced provides additional braking interventions, delivering up to two-thirds of the vehicle braking power through the steer, drive, and trailer brakes. This “always available” braking feature is ready to assist drivers –whether or not cruise control is active – by alerting the driver and automatically applying the brakes to help decelerate the vehicle when the system senses a rear-end collision may be imminent. The driver, of course, still maintains control and can add additional braking or steering inputs to help avoid or minimize the collision situation.
Unique to Bendix Wingman Advanced, the innovative stationary object alert provides audible and visual alerts to the driver when the vehicle is approaching a stationary metallic object, such as a car, steel drum, or other metallic obstruction blocking the lane of travel. The alert gives the driver up to three seconds before a potential impact, helping him or her to respond to the impending threat. The warning is always available above 10 mph.
Bendix Wingman Advanced is a key part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of technology developments, Bendix aims to help fleets and drivers lower their total costs of vehicle ownership and strengthen returns on investment in equipment and technology. Bendix noted that these considerations are more important than ever today, as fleets operate in the challenging new environment of Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), rising fuel costs, and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards.
Thomas noted that technologies such as Bendix Wingman Advanced and Bendix ESP do not replace the need for alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.
“Drivers are always responsible for the control and safe operation of their vehicle at all times.”
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