Bendix Plans Enhanced Active Vehicle Safety System for 2015

September 18, 2014

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A next-generation active safety system from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems will go to market in 2015. The company said it is introducing “stationary vehicle braking” and other functions currently not available in North America.

Currently, Wingman Advanced gives the driver an alert only when a large, metallic object is blocking their lane of travel. The next generation system will not only alert the driver in this situation, but will also apply brakes if the system recognizes the large metallic object as a vehicle.

The next-generatoin product significantly enhance the performance of Bendix's existing systems through stronger, deeper integration and upgraded components, and reduce the number false alerts that sometimes occur with current systems, according to an announcement.

Bendix said it has gotten positive feedback after demonstrating the systems for numerous fleets, and is currently road-testing the system with major commercial vehicle manufacturers.

The next-gen devices will integrate functions of current products, including Bendix’s ESP (electronic stability program), which uses sensors on the chassis; Wingman Advanced collision mitigation, which reads traffic ahead with a radar antenna and adjusts vehicle speed through active cruise control; and AutoVue lane departure warning, which scans lane markings with a wide-angle camera and interprets a vehicle’s relative movement.

The current products issue warnings to the driver, but the new system will do more by combining camera, radar and brakes, said Scott Burkhart, vice president for sales, marketing, and business development.

Added T.J. Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions, “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. 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,” he said. This feature uses a Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ2 processor with advanced object detection algorithms to the auto-braking function of Wingman Advanced.

The new system will also integrate with SafetyDirect, a 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.

“Today’s announcement merely scratches the surface of what our next-generation safety system can do,” Thomas said. “Other improvements and new capabilities of Bendix’s next-generation active safety system will be announced as next year’s launch date nears.

“We know that no matter how advanced a system is, it won’t replace the need for safe, alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, or diminish the importance of comprehensive driver training.”

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