Bendix Focuses on Tech For Operation Safe Driver


ELYRIA, Ohio – In the United States, roads never rest. More vehicles are traveling more miles than ever before, making safe driving campaigns – such as the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Program – especially important.

CVSA’s initiative, now in its 12th year, includes the annual Operation Safe Driver Week, taking place July 14-20. The effort aims to help reduce the number of crashes, deaths, and injuries involving large trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles due to unsafe behaviors by both commercial and passenger vehicle drivers.

“When it comes to efforts to help raise awareness about safe driving practices, programs like Operation Safe Driver Week are critical, and the entire Bendix team proudly supports CVSA’s valuable work,” said Barbara L. Gould, Bendix director of corporate communications. “On the highway, commercial vehicle safety starts with drivers; but at Bendix, safe driving starts with strong partnerships and ongoing communication – at the OE, with fleets and owner operators, and with our extensive network of aftermarket distribution channel outlets. The technology and training we design is aimed at helping drivers respond to the many situations they may encounter. Through our commitment to integrated systems advancement and ongoing education, Bendix is fully behind the men and women who pilot commercial vehicles on our nation’s roads.”

Statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) 2018 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics demonstrate the continuing rise in the number of vehicles and miles traveled. In 2016, nearly 269 million vehicles were registered in the United States, up 13 million, or 5 percent, from 2013. The 2016 number includes almost 12.5 million large trucks and buses, up 1 million – almost 9 percent – from three years earlier. And collectively in 2016, U.S. vehicles traveled nearly 3.2 trillion miles, an increase of 186 billion miles – or 6 percent – from 2013. Large trucks and buses accounted for 304 billion of those miles, 5 percent more than in 2013.

When traffic crashes happened on those roadways, drivers’ actions contributed to 94 percent of the mishaps, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2015 Traffic Safety Facts report.

CVSA works with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) during Operation Safe Driver Week to promote traffic law and safety belt enforcement, operating safely around commercial vehicles, roadside inspections, regulatory compliance, and commercial driver education. The emphasis of this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is speeding.

Solutions That Start from the Ground Up

Advanced safety technologies from Bendix are engineered to assist drivers on increasingly crowded roads and in constantly changing traffic conditions.

The solutions start from the ground up, at the wheel-ends: Bendix technologies include the industry-leading Bendix® ADB22X air disc brake, and the Bendix® ADB22X-LT trailer air disc brake for surer, straighter stops; and the Bendix® ES (Extended Service) family of light and durable foundation drum brakes, bundled with the Versajust® slack adjuster and EnduraSure spring brakes.

Since launching the ADB22X in 2005, BSFB has produced more than 3 million units, reflecting an ever-increasing demand for air disc brakes in the commercial vehicle industry. Worldwide, Bendix and its parent company, Knorr-Bremse, are the clear global leader in air disc brake production at more than 40 million and counting. 

“To maintain the performance and safety of their drum or air disc brake systems, proper maintenance – including selecting appropriate ‘like-for-like’ OE replacement friction – is key,” said Keith McComsey, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake director of marketing and customer solutions, Wheel-End. “The wrong friction can not only result in longer stopping distances, but it may also lead to more replacement part costs and downtime as well.”

Driver Assistance, Not Driver Replacement

The Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program full-stability system – which helps to address both roll and directional instability through sensors that recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss of control – serves as the basis for a host of higher-level safety technologies. One of those technologies is Bendix® Wingman® Fusion, the company’s flagship advanced driver assistance technology, which is built on the foundation of Bendix ESP.

Integrating a forward-facing camera and radar with the vehicle’s brake system into a comprehensive driver assistance program, Wingman Fusion gathers input through this suite of sensors working together. The result is a system that creates a detailed and accurate data picture using deep, multisystem integration, setting it apart from radar-only systems.

Other proven Bendix technologies, including the Bendix BlindSpotter® Side Object Detection System and SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS, complement these solutions. BlindSpotter is designed to alert drivers to vehicles or objects in adjacent lanes to help drivers mitigate sideswipe crashes. SafetyDirect wirelessly and automatically transmits real-time driver performance data and event-based information – including video – to fleet offices for analysis via a user-friendly web portal.Both technologies operate independently of the Wingman Fusionsystem.

Safer Trucks Help Make Safer Drivers

Bendix emphasizes that no technology can replace a skilled, professional driver practicing safe driving habits, and backed by proactive, ongoing training programs. The company’s safety technologies are not meant to enable or encourage aggressive driving, but to support safe driving practices. Responsibility for the safe operation of any commercial vehicle remains with the driver at all times.

“Whether they actively intervene, provide warnings, or improve stopping power, all Bendix safety systems are ultimately designed to supplement safe driving practices,” Gould said. “Our focus is squarely on providing drivers with the tools to help keep them on the road and operating safely, making the highways safer for them and everyone else sharing the road.”

Bendix provides an extensive program of on-site demonstrations and ride-and-drive training to familiarize drivers with new technologies as adoption increases. The company also produces videos that demonstrate its systems and explain the in-cab experience; the videos are published on the Bendix YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/bendixvideos).

No Substitute for Training

Proper vehicle maintenance done by trained, knowledgeable technicians is essential to maximizing highway safety. With the importance of upkeep in mind, Bendix offers a continually expanding range of in-person and online education programs to support the professionals responsible for it.

Its in-person, hands-on training includes the long-running Bendix® Brake Training School, conducted at locations across the United States; on-site maintenance demonstrations and detailed system explorations; plus on-site technician training covering troubleshooting and system maintenance.

The free Bendix On-Line Brake School at brake-school.com – serving more than 80,000 registered users from more than two dozen countries – provides a 24/7/365 training portal with dozens of maintenance courses and tests for sharpening technical knowledge and skills.

At the Knowledge Dock® (knowledge-dock.com), Bendix maintains an archive of its informative Tech Tips series, along with continuously updated videos, podcasts, white papers, and blog posts addressing maintenance and other critical topics for the commercial vehicle industry.

Bendix delivers on areas critical to fleet success: safety, vehicle performance and efficiency, lowering total cost of operation, and unparalleled post-sales support. In doing so, the company aims to strengthen return on investment in advanced, effective commercial vehicle safety systems, enhancing the safety of North America’s roads.

About Author

Avatar

David Kiley is Chief of Content for The BRAKE Report. Kiley is an award-winning business journalist and author, having covered the auto industry for USA Today, Businessweek, AOL/Huffington Post, as well as written articles for Automobile and Popular Mechanics.