ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix Wingman Fusion with enhanced feature set is now standard safety equipment on International Trucks’ LT Series and RH Series, and as an option on the MV Series, HV Series and HX Series. International, part of Navistar International Corp., is the first North American truck manufacturer to offer Bendix’s Fusion Active Cruise with Braking (ACB) Stop & Driver Go and new Active Steering with Lane Keep Assist capabilities, both available as options for the LT and RH Series.
“Navistar’s commitment to providing dependable, efficient, and safe trucks for North America’s professional drivers runs deep — and everyone at Bendix shares that same drive,” said Scott Burkhart, vice president of sales and marketing for Bendix. “As an early adopter and longtime supporter of Bendix advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Navistar continues to be an incredible and valuable partner in commercial vehicle safety, and we’re proud to see our most advanced technologies earning a place on International Trucks.”
Wingman Fusion, launched by Bendix in 2015, is the company’s flagship driver assistance system, which integrates radar, camera and a vehicle’s brake system. Since the system’s creation, Bendix has expanded Fusion’s capabilities through advancements such as providing full braking power on the tractor and earlier object detection.
“Safety systems play an important role in our DriverFirst philosophy, and we strive to ensure our vehicles are equipped with the best features to see drivers home safely when the job is done,” said Charles Chilton, vice president of product strategy and planning for Navistar. “Offering these expanded and improved Bendix systems supports that commitment and contributes to a safer transportation environment across North America.”
Multiple input sources and greater capabilities
Using sensors that work together, not just in parallel, Bendix Wingman Fusion with enhanced feature set gathers input through radar, video and the vehicle’s braking system. By combining and cross-checking information to create a detailed and accurate data picture, Fusion delivers enhanced autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and stationary vehicle braking, in addition to multilane automatic emergency braking, highway departure braking and ACB Stop & Driver Go. The feature will automatically reengage cruise control after an ACB braking event, if the vehicle is still above the vehicle’s cruise control set speed. Once at stop, if the driver applies enough throttle, Fusion can re-accelerate the vehicle to the set cruise control speed as long as there is no object detected ahead.
In addition, Wingman Fusion can provide full tractor braking when needed for an autonomous emergency braking event to help the driver mitigate a potential crash with the forward vehicle.
With Fusion’s multilane automatic emergency braking feature, the system will continue applying the brakes during an ACB event if the driver changes highway lanes and the new lane is also blocked. The highway departure braking capability builds on the system’s existing lane-departure warning technology to alert the driver and, if necessary, apply the brakes to slow the vehicle and further alert the driver if the system determines the vehicle has unintentionally left the roadway.
Other Fusion capabilities include stationary object alerts, overspeed alerts and intervention, and lane-departure warning, as well as utilizing alerts to help reduce driver distraction. Because it is built on the Bendix electronic stability program (ESP) system, Bendix Wingman Fusion also helps drivers mitigate additional crash situations, including rollovers and loss-of-control incidents. Event-based data — including video — is wirelessly transmitted through SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS for driver coaching and analysis by fleet safety personnel.
Steering assistance and an eye on blind spots
Lane Keep Assist, with information from Wingman Fusion, will provide steering torque to help guide the vehicle if the system detects departures from a driving lane with no turn signal. At low speeds, the active steering system also dynamically adjusts the amount of torque applied so the driver will use less effort to steer the vehicle to aid in parking lot maneuvering, for example. Two distinct steering profiles are available, providing a more customized experience for the driver.
Bendix’s active steering assistance is built on existing steering gears from its R.H. Sheppard subsidiary. The new active steering system includes compensation to counter crosswinds or road crowning, steering wheel return-to-center assist, and active damping to reduce road vibrations felt through the steering wheel.
The latest iteration of the Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System is also an option on the International LT and RH Series. When connected to the vehicle’s J1939 controller area network (CAN), BlindSpotter provides a 150-degree range of coverage and is capable of detecting objects up to 20 feet in front of and 20 feet behind the BlindSpotter radar. The coverage zone extends up to 10 feet to the right of the vehicle. BlindSpotter minimizes false alerts by operating in two modes — highway speeds and lower speeds. When connected to the CAN and at highway speeds, the sensor filters out stationary objects like guardrails. The slow-speed warning mode — active at speeds less than 20 mph, such as during city driving or in parking lots — narrows the range for alerts and does not filter out stationary targets or infrastructure.
Assisting, not replacing, the driver
Fleets equipped Bendix Wingman Fusion have reported significant reductions in rear-end collisions — as much as 90% — and decreased severity of those that did occur.
“It’s very important to remember that these safety systems do not in any way replace the need for skilled, alert drivers and ongoing, comprehensive training,” said TJ Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions, controls, for Bendix. “They’re meant to complement safe driving practices — not encourage or enable aggressive driving. Safe operation of the vehicle ultimately remains in the hands of the driver at all times.”