Attending in-person technology demonstrations may be an industry standard, but the reality of the coronavirus pandemic calls for an entirely new format when it comes to event-based demos. And Bendix is delivering.
This year, with live, on-site product demonstrations temporarily halted, Bendix is redefining the ride-and-drive demo experience: On Thursday, Sept. 24, the company will host two live-action demos – the Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo and the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo – each a livestreamed event broadcast via satellite. Like a traditional demonstration, the virtual demos will give fleets, owner-operators, drivers, dealers, school bus officials, and other industry professionals a firsthand, live view of advanced safety systems in action, but from the comfort and safety of a virtual setting.
Showcasing Safety Technologies in a Whole New Setting
The virtual demos – generating from Northeast OH, near Bendix’s Elyria headquarters – will showcase a full range of the company’s integrated safety solutions for tractor-trailers and school buses, while giving participants a close-up look at how the technologies work in everyday situations. Attendees will experience in-the-passenger-seat and on-track views of real-time maneuvers, as the production will employ multiple camera angles, split screens, and replays.
While a departure from Bendix’s 15 consecutive years of popular ride-and-drive demos – currently paused because of the pandemic – the two virtual events will provide many of the same benefits in an all-new experience.
“2020 has been an unconventional year that requires unconventional thinking. At Bendix, we’re driven to create the best solutions, so even though we can’t host traditional demos at the moment, we still want to provide a firsthand, inside look at what our technologies can do for fleets, drivers, and others across our industry,” says Nicole Oreskovic, Bendix Vice President – Marketing, Product Planning, and Sales Operations. “We’ve planned the Bendix virtual demos to do this and more.”
She continues, “These unique live-action events will showcase all of our newest safety technologies as they’re installed on tractor-trailers and school buses, so industry professionals can learn how they perform in real-world situations and understand their return on investment. For further insight, participants can join in view polls, live chat with Bendix specialists, and ask questions in real time.”
Benefits to Attendees
The two events taking place on the Sept. 24 – the Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo and the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo – are the company’s latest in a long-standing line of demonstrations designed to help the industry experience the newest safety technologies. Since 2014, the Bendix demo team has traveled regularly to destinations around the U.S. and Canada, conducting some 400 demos for almost 7,000 participants.
By hosting the livestreamed demos, Bendix will provide an alternative to those events to help fleets see the technologies perform live while meeting the industry’s need to work remotely.
“With the virtual format, more fleets and drivers will have the opportunity to see the advanced technologies in action – not just those within the typical 2-hour radius of a regional demonstration,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix Director – Demos, Sales and Service Training. “No matter your location, you can participate and discover new solutions. We believe this dynamic new approach will be very appealing for everyone.”
Attendees at the Bendix virtual demos can look forward to multiple benefits, according to Andersky.
Turning his attention to fleets of all sizes and vocations, Andersky comments, “If you’re a fleet or school bus manager who hasn’t been considering advanced safety technologies, the respective virtual demo can help make you aware of what’s available to assist with your specific equipment needs. If you have been thinking about these technologies but are unsure about proceeding, the demos allow you to experience them and help in your decision making.”
He continues, “For fleets already using these safety systems, you get to see how the technologies are evolving, as we’ll be showing new products coming out in the next three to six months, in addition to current solutions. And for drivers, the demo will help provide a fuller understanding of what the safety technologies on your vehicle do and how they work.”
Products Being Demonstrated
Fleets, owner-operators, drivers, trainers, and technicians tuning in for the Bendix virtual demos will see Bendix’s integrated safety technologies as equipped on a tractor-trailer (during the morning session) and a school bus (in the afternoon). The no-cost interactive demos will include maneuvers showing the technologies in use on the test track.
Registered participants are not required to attend the entire duration of either session. By referring to the detailed program that will be provided, attendees can review the options to select and tune in for the specific technologies of interest to them.
The Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo, highlighting technologies for tractor-trailers, is scheduled for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 24. It will feature:
- Bendix Wingman Fusion New Features Showcase
- Bendix Air Disc Brakes versus Drum Brakes Comparison
- Foundations for Future Autonomy Spotlight
Also incorporated in the truck demo will be a member of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) Road Team Captains – a select group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records, and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway – along with the ATA’s Share the Road vehicle equipped with a range of Bendix safety technologies.
Meanwhile, the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo will take place from 3-4 p.m. ET on Sept. 24. The demo will occur as part of the Bus Technology Summit, a virtual conference and trade show presented by School Transportation News Sept. 21-24. Bendix’s virtual demo will feature:
- Bendix Wingman Family of Collision Mitigation Technologies
- Bendix ESP® Full-Stability System
- Bendix ADB22X Air Disc Brakes
- Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake
“The Bendix virtual demos will also help participants put into context the discussions taking place around autonomous vehicles, where there’s often a lot of hype,” Andersky says. “The demos will show practical applications of advanced technologies engineered to help fleets and drivers be safer on the roadway, and provide a look at the trajectory of where the technology is going. Our core message has not changed: As technology evolves, drivers continue to be vitally important.”
How to Register for the Virtual Demos
Register to attend the Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo and the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo at individual links:
- Trucking: http://safertrucks.com/vtruckdemo
- School bus: http://safertrucks.com/vsbusdemo
Once registered, attendees will receive a web link via email through which they’ll access and view the livestreamed broadcast. Since the two broadcasts are accessed through their own URLs, attendees wishing to view both demonstrations will need to register for each event separately.
Drawing on its legacy of support to those in need, for every registered attendee who tunes into the Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo on Sept. 24, Bendix will donate $5 to The St. Christopher Truckers Development and Relief Fund (SCF). Named for the patron saint of transportation, SCF is a 501(c)(3) truck driver charity that helps over-the-road/regional semi-truck drivers and their families when an illness or injury, occurring within the last year, has caused them to be out of work. The SCF is also working to provide programs that will benefit professional drivers and the trucking industry.
As is true of every Bendix demo, the company emphasizes that advanced safety technologies are designed to complement safe driving practices, and that no commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques. The drivers behind the wheel – supported by proactive, ongoing driver training – are vital to highway safety, and maintain responsibility for the safe operation of any vehicle at all times.
“Our industry requires flexibility, agility, and responsiveness. The pandemic has taught us all valuable lessons about doing this differently,” says Lance Hansen, Bendix Vice President – Aftermarket Sales, Fleet, Service, and Field Operations. “As we tackle our evolving technology roadmap and maintain a focus on delivering best-in-class integrated solutions for connectivity, traffic safety, e-mobility, and the future of automated driving, we are also hard at work implementing new and exciting ways to deliver increasing value to our customers through tools such as training, and a reinvigorated approach to sales and service. These virtual demos are just one example of how we are bringing innovation and increased access to the marketplace.”