Bendix introduces engine booster, active safety systems

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems today, March 18, unveiled new offerings in the areas of vehicle energy management and active safety technology.

The company introduced the Bendix Pneumatic Booster System (PBS), an air management system aimed at improving fuel economy and acceleration while reducing emissions. The PBS, which represents a diversification of Bendix’s vehicle air treatment business into powertrain components, currently is undergoing internal validation and field and engine benchmarking.

Placed near the air intake manifold on the engine, the PBS monitors the controller area network, or CAN, for specific signals indicating the need for system activation. The PBS then injects compressed air from an auxiliary air tank into the engine manifold, delivering the desired amount of air that the diesel combustion processes require. The system is intended to overcome turbo lag, which leads to a delay in response when a driver presses the accelerator. Bendix said two models of the PBS are available, reaching about 80 percent of engine applications from 4-liter displacement to 13 liters.

The company also introduced adaptive cruise control with braking. The Bendix Wingman ACB system uses a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle and Bendix ESP full-stability technology to actively assist drivers in maintaining set following distances between trucks and forward vehicles. With cruise control on and speed set, Bendix Wingman ACB is designed to warn drivers of vehicles that it is approaching too quickly and actively intervene by reducing throttle, engaging the engine retarder and, if needed, automatically applying the foundation brakes to help maintain following distance.

Bendix said that even when the vehicle is not in cruise control, the driver receives following distance alerts – a benefit in situations when cruise control should not be used, such as poor weather or congested traffic. Inclusion of Bendix ESP helps drivers mitigate rollover and loss-of-control situations in various road conditions, according to the company.

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Information, warnings and operation of the Bendix Wingman ACB system are incorporated into the vehicle dash. Drivers activate the system using existing cruise control switches. Truck owners can customize following distance using Bendix ACom diagnostic software (version 6.3 or higher), which also provides information on use of cruise control and on stability events.

The Bendix Wingman ACB is available for order today, with vehicle delivery beginning in early 2009.

Among various other announcements today, Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake – a joint venture with Dana – said that U.S. Xpress in 2008 had purchased 575 factory-installed ADB22X air disc brakes and planned to buy “a substantial number of additional units over the next 12 months.”

Bendix also announced that it recently expanded its product availability with Utility Trailer Manufacturing Co., adding a new five-year/500,000-mile warranty on select components. As part of the agreement, the Bendix TABS-6 antilock braking system (ABS) and SR-5 spring brake relay valve now are standard position on all base model Utility brand dual-axle refrigerated and dry vans. In addition, Utility also now offers the ADB22X air disc brake as a databook option.

Bendix also announced an agreement with Navistar to make the 360cc air compressor from Bendix CVS standard on International’s MaxxForce Big Bore 11- and 13-liter engine platforms.

The Bendix Wingman ACB system uses a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle and Bendix ESP full-stability technology to actively assist drivers in maintaining set following distances.