Bendix completes Iteris acquisition

Updated Aug 4, 2011

One week after signing a definitive agreement, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix), a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, today announced it has finalized its purchase of select assets – including SafetyDirect and the AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System – from Iteris, Inc. (NYSE Amex: ITI).

The transaction – which closed on July 29 – immediately incorporates the technologies and associated research, development, sales and service operations into the electronics business units at Bendix and Knorr-Bremse. The products join other leading safety technologies such as the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program, Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, and SmarTire tire pressure monitoring system by Bendix CVS.

In connection with the transaction, Bendix has initiated a short-term manufacturing and distribution agreement with Iteris to ensure uninterrupted product availability and service during the transition period.

“There’s no doubt our goal is a seamless transition for our customers,” said Kevin Romanchok, Bendix product line director for electronics. “There will be no initial change to the ordering or delivery process as it has previously been established for SafetyDirect data management or the AutoVue LDW System. Customers should continue to use their existing order and day-to-day support contacts until further notice.”

SafetyDirect and AutoVue Lane Departure Warning System are stand-alone technologies that can be ordered independent of other safety-related technologies such as Bendix ESP and Bendix Wingman Advanced. AutoVue Lane Departure Warning systems are released at major OEMs in North America, at most European OEMs, and in Japan.

SafetyDirect data management is available with major North American fleets. Both can be retrofit to vehicles already in service,” Romanchok added. “With a comprehensive offering of electronics-based products, performance, and expertise available from Bendix, vehicle operators now benefit from a unique ‘one-stop’ shopping opportunity.”

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AutoVue – the vision-based Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System – alerts truck drivers if they inadvertently drift out of their lane. The AutoVue LDW System contains a camera that tracks visible lane markings and continually detects when the vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change. When this occurs, the unit automatically emits a distinctive rumble strip or other audible warning sound, alerting the driver to make a correction.

SafetyDirect is a Web portal that allows fleet owners the opportunity to analyze safety information that is wirelessly transmitted – in real time – from their vehicles via existing fleet communication systems. The system can provide an immediate warning to fleet operators if their drivers are having difficulty staying in their lanes; often a first indicator of driver drowsiness or other potential problems. To further enhance its capability, Bendix will now add information from the SmarTire tire pressure monitoring system, along with the Bendix Wingman Advanced and Bendix ESP systems – including following distance histograms, event counters, and system usage information – as available data on the portal. This will better help fleet managers identify risky driver behavior and provide drivers with targeted training they need to reinforce safe driving practices.