Bendix introduces next-generation Wingman Fusion active safety system, provides regulatory update

Updated Nov 18, 2019

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During a press conference at the 2015 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky., Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems announced its new Bendix Wingman Fusion, the company’s next generation in active safety systems.

Wingman Fusion integrates three of the company’s existing component technologies — Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system, Bendix Wingman Advanced collision mitigation technology and AutoVue lane departure warning system – into a single driver assistance system. By combining these components and having multiple sensors sharing situational data, Wingman Fusion offers driver assistance with lane departure warning, overspeed alerts and action, following distance alerts with enhanced collision mitigation and stationary vehicle braking. By combining these systems, Bendix says Wingman Fusion can reduce the vehicle’s speed up to twice as much in a potential collision situation when compared to non-integrated systems.

“A fleet can buy separate radar and camera systems right now, but what it comes down to is the integration of the data,” said TJ Thomas, director of marketing and customer solutions for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems. “This next-generation camera talks to the next-generation radar that talks to the next-generation braking system in a way that isn’t in our industry today.”

Wingman Fusion can deliver five different alerts to the driver, however the system prioritizes alerts depending on the situation. For example, if it detects a lane departure and an unsafe following distance, the system deems the potential collision as the most critical event and issues a collision alert to the driver rather than distracting or confusing him with multiple alerts.

Wingman Fusion’s new stationary vehicle braking technology uses both radar and camera data to confirm a stopped vehicle ahead and warns the driver up to 3.5 seconds before impact and automatically engages the brakes if the driver doesn’t take action.

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The new overspeed alert and action feature is activated at 37 mph and works with Bendix ESP. It uses the system’s camera to automatically read posted speed signs and compares the speed limit to the truck’s current speed. It then issues an audible alert if the truck is more than 5 mph over the posted speed limit. If the truck is more than 10 mph over the speed limit, Wingman Fusion provides an audible alert as well a one-second engine throttle reduction to get the drivers attention. Bendix says fleets can modify these thresholds depending on their individual speed parameters. Bendix SafetyDirect also will capture a video of the event and transmit it to the fleet’s safety operations for driver coaching.

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Wingman Fusion is available to all major North American manufacturers of Class 8 trucks for integration into their vehicle platforms and is initially available on the International ProStar.

“The need for comprehensive, proactive driver training and safe, alert drivers practicing safe driving habits cannot be replaced by any technology, no matter how advanced,” said Thomas. “But during Wingman Fusion’s extensive testing and demonstration, fleets and drivers regularly provided incredibly positive feedback on the system’s potential for helping to improve fleet operations, driver education, and – what matters to us all the most – highway safety.”

Bendix comments as DOT sets sights on collision mitigation system mandate, close on stability control mandate

A Final Rule to require all new trucks to be equipped with Electronic Stability Control systems will come this year and potentially as soon as May, said Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems’ Fred Andersky, director of government affairs. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is the regulatory agency responsible for the ESC mandate rule, and it’s forecasted to publish the rule May 7, per the latest DOT rulemakings report.

Andersky, however, says he hopes to see the rule come by the end of June, referring to the DOT’s penchant for missing its forecasted publication dates.

Following the ESC mandate, Andersky said, NHTSA could set its sights on a similar mandate: Safety advocates in February petitioned the agency to require new trucks to be equipped with collision mitigation systems — those that brake autonomously to avoid crashing into objects in front of the truck, such as rear-end crashes.

NHTSA has 120 days to grant or deny the petition, Andersky said, and Bendix expects the agency to grant the request and proceed with a rulemaking to mandate collision mitigation systems.