Coming soon, the next evolution of the Bendix Wingman Fusion advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) will offer highway departure braking and multi-lane automatic emergency braking, along with strengthened collision mitigation and braking capabilities to more effectively reduce vehicle speeds in hazardous situations. The new features, along with further enhancement of existing collision mitigation technology, will come through software advancements, meaning current Fusion customers will be able to upgrade to the new capabilities with no need to purchase new hardware components.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies, will begin demonstrating the system prior to the close of 2017 and throughout 2018 at “At Your Door” demos around the country.
Additionally, the next generation of Fusion will be able to link with the new Bendix BlindSpotter 2.0 Side Object Detection System, integrating data from the side-radar unit and enabling additional features integrating BlindSpotter information with Fusion capabilities to help driver mitigate side-swipe and blindspot crashes.
“What enables Fusion to make better decisions with fewer false alerts and interventions is a combination of constantly improving computer analysis and more data into the system,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix Director of Customer Solutions – Controls. “It’s integrating information from camera and radars – both front and, eventually, side, along with a vehicle’s brake sensors, and linking these systems together. It’s this linking together, not just in parallel, that makes Wingman Fusion a platform for the future, upon which even greater vehicle and highway safety technologies can be built.”
New Capabilities, Improved Safety
Wingman Fusion combines and cross-checks information from multiple sources to deliver enhanced rear-end collision mitigation, alerts when speeding, and braking on stationary vehicles. Fusion also helps drivers avoid additional crash situations, including rollovers, loss-of-control – thanks to Bendix ESP full stability technology, which is included as part of the system – and sideswipe crashes, while prioritizing alerts to help reduce driver distraction.
Building on Fusion’s current lane departure technology, the new highway departure braking capability will alert the driver and apply brakes if the system determines the vehicle has left the roadway. And multi-lane automatic emergency braking means that if Fusion is applying the brakes due to a vehicle in the lane ahead and the driver switches to an adjacent lane, the system will continue applying the brakes if it detects another car ahead in the new lane – helping the driver avoid both the first and potentially second situation, something that can occur when multiple lanes of traffic are blocked on a highway.
The upcoming Fusion 2.0 will also be able to provide full braking power on the tractor, compared with the two-thirds power currently possible. Combined with the improved sensor and data analysis, this means that in an emergency situation, the system will be able to reduce a vehicle’s speed by as much as 50% more than the current Fusion system.
“As we look down the road to more automated and autonomous vehicle technology, sensor fusion – the ability to integrate more sensors which, in turn, provides more vehicle and environmental information – is an absolutely critical component,” Andersky says. “That’s why we’ve developed Fusion as we have, always keeping in mind the need to handle more data from more sources, and to use it effectively with functional technologies. Today’s best system is one that’s already prepared for tomorrow’s possibilities.”
Fusion on the Road
Built on the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Wingman Fusion uses deep, multi-sensor integration to create a highly detailed and accurate data picture that enables the system to recognize potential problems sooner and intervene earlier. Quicker action on the system’s part makes Fusion more effective at mitigating possible collisions and reducing the severity of collisions. Fusion’s camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.
Major North American truck brands offering Fusion as a factory-installed option include Navistar’s International, Kenworth Truck Company, Peterbilt Motors Company, and Mack Trucks. Volvo Trucks North America offers Volvo Active Driver Assist, which is based upon Bendix Wingman Fusion collision mitigation technology. Volvo is the first North American OEM to offer this technology as standard on its new VNL and VNR Series tractors.
Fleets utilizing tractors equipped with Wingman Fusion include Andrews Logistics; Armellini Express Lines; Baylor Trucking; Cardinal Logistics Management Corporation; Custom Commodities Transport, Cypress Truck Lines, Inc.; Groendyke Transport, J&M Tank Lines, Inc.; Matheson Trucking, Inc.; NevCal Trucking; Osborne Trucking Company; and XTL Transport, Inc. Several of these companies have reported positive feedback from their drivers and believe that Fusion has mitigated collision severity or prevented accidents from occurring.
“Some of our customer fleets have reported as much as a 90% reduction in rear-end collisions, and a significant reduction in severity of those that did occur,” Andersky says. “Clearly, this is a technology capable of making a real difference in highway safety for fleets, owner-operators, and everyone on the road around them.”
Bendix emphasizes that Wingman Fusion and other active safety technologies are driver assistance systems – not driver replacements. Nothing is more important to vehicle and road safety than the presence of safe, alert men and women behind the wheel, practicing safe driving habits and receiving the support of proactive, ongoing training. Advanced driver assistance technologies are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving, and responsibility for safe vehicle operation remains with the driver at all times.
Through an ever-growing portfolio of safety technologies like Wingman Fusion, Bendix delivers on safety, plus reliability, lower total cost of ownership, and vehicle performance and efficiency. In backing its systems and components with unparalleled post-sales support, the company aims to strengthen return on investment in equipment that improves commercial vehicle safety and makes North America’s roads safer for everyone.