Bendix Web-based service integrates safety systems

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Updated Mar 23, 2012

A Bendix Web portal for fleet operators now connects to three of the company’s most powerful onboard safety technologies. That Web service, SafetyDirect from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, integrates Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, and SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

A fourth onboard safety system, AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System from Bendix CVS, already was connected to SafetyDirect. Bendix purchased SafetyDirect and AutoVue from Iteris in 2011.

SafetyDirect reports safety information that is transmitted wirelessly from a fleet’s vehicles via telematics devices already on the trucks. The system can provide immediate warnings and critical safety information. For example, fleet operators easily can see if their drivers are having difficulty staying in their lanes – often a first indicator of driver drowsiness – or other potential problems, such as stability control activation, collision mitigation system activation or critical tire alerts.

Comprehensive truck-specific safety information is “all the more important in today’s CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability)-driven environment, where safety infractions can threaten your very business,” said T.J. Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group. “One of the most common requests from fleets of all types has been for Bendix to provide wireless safety data, and now we have an outstanding solution with SafetyDirect.”

SafetyDirect collects data from the onboard safety systems into a Web portal and translates it into information that a fleet can use in daily operations. SafetyDirect provides real-time driver performance data, as well as event-based information – including video clips of severe occurrences – for analysis by fleet safety personnel and to aid fleets in developing targeted ongoing driver education and training.

Among the essential information on the portal are following-distance histograms, event counters and system usage details for each driver, information to help fleet managers identify risky driver behavior and provide drivers with targeted training they need to reinforce safe driving practices.

The system captures and reports events in more than a dozen preset categories, including excessive curve speed, lane changes without turn signal and forward collision warning. Data reports can be created for individual drivers and the entire fleet. Bendix can expand the system to meet a fleet’s particular needs by building in certain reporting functions, such as monitoring of tailgating.

Along with video, severe events are captured and stored with time and date, driver and vehicle ID, odometer reading, vehicle speed and GPS location. SafetyDirect is available on vehicles at all major North American truck makers. Both it and the AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System from Bendix can be retrofit.

In other Bendix news, the company:
• Will introduce Bendix eTrac, an automated air pressure transfer system for Bendix ABS-6 braking systems with automatic traction control. Designed for 6×2 tractors and trucks, the eTrac transfer system fully automates what currently is a manual system of air pressure transfer. When added to Bendix Smart ATC (automatic traction control) and Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP Electronic Stability Program (Bendix ESP), eTrac automatically engages and disengages – without driver input – the vehicle’s airbag pressure transfer system during low-traction events. Pressure is transferred from the undriven axle to the driven axle without requiring manual input or driver action; and
• Expects to release its SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System for trailers in the third quarter as an aftermarket retrofit kit. A typical kit would consist of eight wheel sensors, harnessing and a wireless receiver. The company also intends to make SmarTire TPMS available to OE trailer manufacturers.