Bendix’s lane departure warning system granted windshield clearance exemption

Updated Dec 18, 2013

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has received a regulatory two-year exemption extension for its AutoVue Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System, retaining the technology’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) compliance. Citing highway safety and the benefits of LDW technology, the FMCSA granted Bendix’s request for exemption from certain windshield clearance rules, allowing fleets and drivers to continue installing and using AutoVue while remaining within FMCSA regulations. The exemption became effective in November 2013.

AutoVue is a vision-based system linking a camera with a 60-degree field of view to an on-board computer that uses image recognition software to track visible lane markings. This market-leading LDW system continually monitors a vehicle’s position and detects when the vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change. Upon detection, AutoVue emits a distinctive “rumble strip” or other audible warning to alert the driver to make a correction.

Under the FMCSA prohibitions on obstructions to a driver’s field of view, devices such as antennas or transponders that are mounted at the top of a windshield must be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers. The exemption covering AutoVue states that the LDW system sensors can be mounted within that area, though not more than 2 inches below its upper edge and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road, highway signs, and signals.

Bendix purchased AutoVue from Iteris, Inc., in 2011 and received a two-year FMCSA windshield clearance exemption for the system. AutoVue is effective in most weather conditions where lane markings are visible – even in low-visibility situations such as fog or rain – which means the LDW system’s forward-facing camera needs to be mounted within the swept area of the windshield wiper. Today, more than 45,000 AutoVue systems are in use and the system can be retrofit on vehicles currently in service.

“Bendix sought this extension on behalf of its customers to ensure there are no compliance issues with the required LDW placement on the windshield. A properly mounted AutoVue camera will not constitute a violation during roadside inspections, which may be reflected in a fleet’s CSA BASIC scores,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs.

In an October 2013 report evaluating the effectiveness of on-board safety systems, the FMCSA found that trucks without LDW systems had an LDW-related crash rate per Million Vehicle Miles Traveled (MVMT) nearly twice as high as trucks equipped with such a system. This means that use of an LDW system translates to a 47.8 percent crash rate reduction per MVMT in LDW-related crashes.

In renewing the exemption, the FMCSA said its decision will maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.