Passing Zone

Sensing a Disruption

April 17, 2015

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Joe McAleese, speaking at the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship conference. Photo: Bendix
Joe McAleese, speaking at the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship conference. Photo: Bendix

To paraphrase Merriam-Webster, “disruptive” defines an action that interrupts the normal progress or activity of something.

Protesting in public can be described as disruptive, as can a bad patch of weather that plays havoc with our travel plans or a barking dog that deprives us of sleep.

Yet a disruptive action can be positive, indeed very constructive; even radically game-changing. And so it is with vehicle-mounted sensors.

Yes, sensors. Everyone who deals up close and personal with today’s vehicles— cars, trucks, even trailers—knows they are chockablock with electronic sensors. But so long as sensors function, why pay them any thought?

Because sensors are a perfect example of how even a truly unassuming bit of technology can have a powerful impact on business, according to Joe McAleese, chairman, president, and CEO of Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC.

Addressing the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship conference held this month at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University (BGSU), McAleese explained how “sensing technologies” are reshaping the vehicle landscape.

In his talk, McAleese, a BGSU alumnus, detailed how sensors are evolving in both the automotive and commercial vehicle industries to work positively as a “disruptive technology” that's "driving new approaches that provide significant performance and efficiency benefits.”

Making his case, McAleese pointed out that sensors initially changed the scope of combustion- engine management in the automotive sector. Sensors enabled the move from carburetors to fuel injectors, which he said “contributed to a restructuring of the industry.”

As for trucks, he explained how sensors “evolved the braking system.” That process began with the development of ABS, which in turn led to electronic stability-control systems.

And now, by integrating advanced sensor and mechatronic systems development, McAlesse said sensors are serving as “the foundation” for the development of what he termed driver-assistance systems.

“The topic of advanced technologies in automobiles and commercial vehicles is close to my heart, and I was delighted to offer a look at sensing innovations that represent a fundamental change in vehicle development,” McAleese said in a post-conference statement.

“Being part of a company that is a longtime leader in pioneering game-changing technologies,” he added, “I’m fortunate to have a close-up view of advancements that are truly ‘disruptive.’ These technologies will continue to have a major impact on our lives.”

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