On 250 Volvo Tractors, Leading Carrier Specs Volvo Active Driver Assist with Bendix ® Wingman® Fusion™, ADB22X™ Air Disc Brakes, and Other Bendix Safety Systems
ELYRIA, Ohio – August 14, 2018 – Build a 30-year record of safe driving at AAA Cooper Transportation and you could find yourself on an all-expenses-paid vacation – an excursion courtesy of the Dothan, Alabama-based freight hauler, which includes an annual vacation award as part of its comprehensive safety program.
Founded in 1955, the privately owned company takes safety seriously. And for its 3,870 drivers, AAA Cooper’s priority is clear: “We aim to put our drivers into the safest, highest-quality trucks possible,” said Steven Aronhalt, vice president of safety and maintenance.
To that end, the carrier has equipped its latest order – 250 Volvo VNL Series tractors – with Volvo Active Driver Assist, which integrates the camera- and radar-based collision mitigation technology of Bendix ® Wingman® Fusion™ to create a comprehensive, leading-edge system. In addition, the carrier has spec’ed Bendix® ADB22X™ air disc brakes on all axles. AAA Cooper also chose AutoVue® Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System from Bendix CVS, which is integrated into Volvo Active Driver Assist, and Bendix™ BlindSpotter®Side Object Detection System.
AAA Cooper offers less-than-truckload, truckload, dedicated contract carriage, brokerage, fleet maintenance, and international services throughout the United States, with coverage into Canada and Mexico. It operates facilities in the Southeast, Southwest, Midwest, and Puerto Rico.
The carrier, which runs Volvo power units almost exclusively, has spec’ed Bendix for years. Of AAA Cooper’s 2,650 tractors, Aronhalt estimates at least 700-800 are equipped with Bendix advanced technologies. The carrier has chosen Bendix air disc brakes since 2014.
“We choose Bendix because of the quality of the products and their stability as they are developed,” Aronhalt said. “We intend to keep spec’ing Bendix. Right now, we’re full steam ahead on purchasing.”
Careful equipment decisions fit squarely into AAA Cooper’s emphasis on safety. The company’s safety culture is built around its trademarked Safety 365® “Safety Every Day” program, which includes extensive safety training for all employees, regular retraining, recurring one-on-one safety meetings between managers and team members, and a robust reward program – including the 30-year vacation award and recognition for safe service every five years.
Volvo introduced Volvo Active Driver Assist in fall 2016. It incorporates Bendix ® Wingman® Fusion™, integrating radar, camera, and the vehicle’s brake system into a driver assistance system that delivers driver alerts and interventions to help them mitigate rear-end collisions, rollovers, and loss-of-control situations. Unlike systems that only use radar, Volvo Active Driver Assist creates a highly detailed and accurate data picture using deep, multisystem integration of the input gathered through radar, video, and the vehicle’s brakes working together. The system’s camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.
These technologies – working together and not just in parallel – along with powerful next-generation computing, create a system that typically assesses situations faster and reacts earlier, while also significantly reducing false alerts and false interventions. Volvo Active Driver Assist provides alert prioritization, enhanced collision mitigation, and stationary vehicle braking. And because it is built on the Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology (VEST) by Bendix® full-stability system, Volvo Active Driver Assist also helps drivers avoid additional crash situations, including rollovers and loss-of-control.
AAA Cooper also spec’ed an optional integrated lane departure warning system – AutoVue® Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System from Bendix CVS – with data capture capability. The vision-based system detects when a commercial vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change and alerts the driver.
Other options include Bendix™ BlindSpotter® Side Object Detection System, which the carrier specs as well. While not integrated into the Volvo Active Driver Assist system, the blind spot technology offers an additional feature to help drivers detect vehicles that may not be visible in their mirrors.
Volvo Active Driver Assist is fully integrated into the Volvo Driver Information Display located on the dashboard. It includes an industry-first heads-up windshield display if a driver approaches an object in front of them too closely.
The Air Disc Brake Advantage
A lightweight design, considerably reduced stopping distance, and extended brake system life are hallmarks of the Bendix® ADB22X™ family of disc brakes. Bendix air disc brakes exceed FMVSS-121 stopping distance requirements by 20 percent and exceed the federal Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) requirements mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Air disc brakes also enhance safety by providing shorter stopping distances compared to drum brakes, virtually eliminating brake fade, and providing greater reliability with more consistent stops. Air disc brakes also provide improved brake stability from side to side, reducing the risk of brake steer and providing a more car-like feel for straighter, more stable stops.
Other advantages of the ADB22X are quicker pad replacement and longer pad life, leading to greater uptime and lower maintenance costs. In addition, the ADB22X includes an internal self-adjustment mechanism that can help lower the risk of brakes being found out of adjustment during inspection, which can affect Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scoring.
The brake also complements active safety technologies and brings maximum value to them. ADB stopping power allows these systems to work their best.
“We believe that all of the systems working together provides us a much safer piece of equipment overall. Our research found that implementing just one of the systems was not as good as combining them,” Aronhalt said. “The air disc brakes not only provide better stopping distance and exceptional wear, but we think they also help the collision mitigation system perform even better.”
“AAA Cooper is all about safety and service, from the drivers and the equipment they pilot to all the other team members who dedicate themselves to keep this trusted carrier rolling. We’re proud to work with such a committed group,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix North America regional vice president – fleet/trailer sales & service engineering. “The safety and service ethic at AAA Cooper is a hand-in-glove fit with Bendix. Together, we can help contribute to safer roadways for everybody.”
According to Aronhalt, drivers have received the Bendix technologies exceptionally well. He credits the training that Bendix led with the carrier’s drivers to ensure everybody operating the vehicles would be comfortable with the systems.
Bendix and AAA Cooper both stress that no technology replaces a safe driver practicing safe driving habits, and that driver assistance and other Bendix safety technologies are not intended to encourage or enable aggressive driving: They are meant to complement safe driving practices by skilled, alert drivers, as well as comprehensive, proactive driver training programs. Responsibility for the safe operation of a vehicle equipped with a driver assistance system remains with the driver at all times.
Learn more about Bendix’s advanced safety technology development, driver assistance systems, and commercial vehicle safety in the Bendix multimedia center at knowledge-dock.com. Product- and service-related content includes podcasts, blogs, videos, and more. For further information about Bendix collision mitigation systems, contact Bendix at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit www.safertrucks.com/solutions.