Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has reached another milestone as it strengthens its North American leadership position in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies. In May, the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system with Automatic Traction Control (ATC) became standard on the majority of Peterbilt Motors Company’s Class 8 trucks and tractors, including the newly announced 579. Additionally, Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, is now available as an option on Models 579, 587, 386, 384, 382, 389, 367, and 365.
Bendix was the first North American brake manufacturer to make full-stability solutions widely available for the commercial vehicle market.
“Making full stability standard represents an important, forward-thinking decision by Peterbilt, and we are thrilled that the company chose Bendix ESP as its standard technology,” says Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president and general manger, Controls group. “Peterbilt’s endorsement of Bendix ESP and Bendix Wingman Advanced represents a great expression of trust and confidence in Bendix’s ability to deliver the best commercial vehicle safety technology on the road today.”
Since Bendix ESP was introduced in early 2005, Bendix has sold more than 175,000 units.
Peterbilt chose the Bendix ABS-based full-stability system. The system includes automatic traction control and enhances vehicle stability both by reducing engine throttle and applying vehicle braking, based on actual vehicle dynamics and driver input.
On May 23, 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that would require full-stability technology, known as Electronic Stability Control (ESC), on heavy trucks and motorcoaches above 26,000 lbs.
Unlike roll-only systems, more comprehensive full-stability systems – such as Bendix ESP – address both roll and directional stability. While roll-only options function on dry surfaces, full-stability systems recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control situations sooner on dry surfaces, and in a wider range of driving and road conditions, including snowy, ice-covered, and slippery surfaces. Full-stability systems contain additional sensors, enabling the unit to recognize factors that could lead to truck rollovers and loss of control – often faster than a driver’s capability.
Interventions are also different. Full-stability systems rely on automatic brake interventions involving the steer, drive, and trailer axles, whereas roll-only systems typically apply the brakes only on the drive and trailer axles. Slowing the vehicle quickly helps mitigate rollovers faster, while slowing and redirecting can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.
Bendix ESP is the foundation for Bendix advanced active safety technologies, such as Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, which combines both adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation to help drivers mitigate or reduce the intensity of potential rear-end collision situations.
Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, Bendix Wingman Advanced delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or, at least, help reduce their severity. The system provides following distance and stationary object alerts, which are always available above approximately 10 mph – whether or not cruise control is engaged. When drivers use their cruise control, the adaptive cruise control with braking feature will actively intervene to help them maintain a safe following distance behind a forward vehicle by reducing throttle; engaging the engine retarder; or, if necessary, applying the foundation brakes.
The collision mitigation feature of Bendix Wingman Advanced provides additional braking interventions, delivering up to two-thirds of the vehicle braking power through the steer, drive, and trailer brakes. This “always available” braking feature is ready to assist drivers above about 15 mph – whether or not cruise control is active – by alerting the driver and automatically applying the brakes to help decelerate the vehicle when the system senses a rear-end collision may be imminent. The driver, of course, still maintains control and can add additional braking or steering inputs to help avoid or minimize the collision situation.
A stationary object alert provides audible and visual alerts to the driver when the vehicle is approaching a stationary metallic object, such as a car, steel drum, or other metallic obstruction blocking the lane of travel. The alert gives the driver up to three seconds before a potential impact, helping him or her to respond to the impending threat. The warning is always available above about 10 mph.
“Making Bendix ESP standard on the majority of our heavy-duty trucks and offering Bendix Wingman Advanced as an option on our entire on-highway lineup allows us to provide the most advanced safety technologies available to our customers,” said Bill Kozek, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “We want our customers to have not only the most productive and reliable trucks in the industry, but also the safest.”
With standard position for Bendix ESPand optional position for Bendix Wingman Advanced, Peterbilt continues to advance its offerings of Bendix technologies. In 2011, the company chose the patented Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes as standard on the steer axle of all Peterbilt Class 8 truck models.
Bendix ESP and Bendix Wingman Advanced are key parts of the ever-growing Bendix portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus four other areas critical to fleets’ success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability, and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important today than ever, as fleets operate in a challenging new environment that includes CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability), rising fuel costs, and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards.
Technologies such as Bendix ESP and Bendix Wingman Advanced do not replace the need for alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.