Bendix adds new features to SafetyDirect system

Bendix has added severe-event trigger and two-way communication capabilities to its SafetyDirect system to help further enhance operator safety.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has made SafetyDirect an even more effective training and safety tool for drivers and fleet operators, adding a new severe-event trigger and two-way communication capability. The severe-event trigger supports the overspeed alert and action function of the newly launched Bendix Wingman Fusion, providing fleets with additional critical data for training and analysis.

SafetyDirect is a user-friendly Web portal that provides fleet operators with videos of severe events, along with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers. The system wirelessly transmits real-time data and event-based information to the fleet’s back office for analysis.

Wingman Fusion, unveiled at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show, fully integrates a suite of Bendix advanced safety technologies – including radar, camera, the vehicle’s brakes and SafetyDirect – into a comprehensive driver assistance system more powerful than any other system or combination of safety technologies currently available in the North American market.

Wingman Fusion’s overspeed alert and action function, unique in the industry, can be activated at 37 mph or above. It uses the system’s camera to read roadside speed limit signs, and works in tandem with the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system to alert the driver when the vehicle is travelling a specified amount over the posted limit. Through SafetyDirect, severe-event notifications are sent to the fleet upon the second of two customizable intervention levels in overspeed alert and action. With level two, which occurs if the vehicle is travelling 10 mph or more over the limit, an audible alert is accompanied by a one-second engine de-throttle.

“SafetyDirect becomes an even more effective tool for helping fleets reinforce drivers’ best practices and improve their training programs when linked with the data collecting and computing power of Wingman Fusion, Bendix’s most advanced active safety system,” says TJ Thomas, Bendix Director of Marketing and Customer Solutions, Controls group. “Notifications to a fleet’s back office for overspeed alert and action offer another key level of insight as they strive to improve safety.”

SafetyDirect’s second new feature is two-way communication capability, which allows fleets to tune some parameters wirelessly. Fleets can make some system changes remotely, without having to touch the vehicle.

Thomas notes that responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times. Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. No safety technology replaces the need for safe, alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, and the importance of comprehensive, proactive driver training.