Bendix safety technologies are options at Kenworth

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC continues to expand its presence as the North American leader in the development and manufacture of leading-edge active safety and braking system technologies. Kenworth Truck Company plans to offer Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, and the SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) by Bendix CVS later this year as options on select Class 8 trucks.

Bendix Wingman Advanced delivers active cruise control with braking features, along with collision mitigation technology. SmarTire technology from Bendix continuously monitors the pressure and temperature of each tire on a commercial vehicle to provide real-time tire status information to the driver or maintenance technician.

"Just as Bendix is committed to providing fleets, owner-operators, and drivers with highly proactive safety technologies, so is Kenworth, and the company's choice of Bendix solutions reinforces that dedication," said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president and general manager, Controls group. "We are pleased that Kenworth has expressed trust in Bendix to provide the leading, cost-effective technologies its customers have come to expect – technologies that will help them succeed in today's challenging CSA (Compliance, Safety, Accountability) environment."

Bendix Wingman Advanced builds upon the company's full-stability technology – Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system – providing fleets with a solution that can help drivers in collisions, rollovers, and loss-of-control situations.

Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, Bendix Wingman Advanced– A CollisionMitigation Technology, delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or, at least, help reduce their severity. The system provides following distance and stationary object alerts, which are always available above approximately 10 mph – whether or not cruise control is engaged. When drivers use their cruise control, the adaptive cruise control with braking feature will actively intervene to help them maintain a safe following distance behind a forward vehicle by reducing throttle; engaging the engine retarder; or, if necessary, applying the foundation brakes.

The collision mitigation feature of Bendix Wingman Advanced provides additional braking interventions, delivering up to two-thirds of the vehicle braking power through the steer, drive, and trailer brakes. Above about 15 mph, this "always available" braking feature is ready to assist drivers – whether or not cruise control is active – by alerting the driver and automatically applying the brakes to help decelerate the vehicle when a rear-end collision may be imminent. The driver, of course, still maintains control of the vehicle and can add additional braking or steering inputs to help avoid or minimize the collision situation.

A stationary object alert provides audible and visual alerts to the driver when the vehicle is approaching a stationary metallic object, such as a car, steel drum, or other metallic obstruction blocking the lane of travel. The alert gives the driver up to three seconds before a potential impact, helping him or her to respond to the impending threat. The warning is always available above about 10 mph.

To assist fleets with managing the increasing costs of both fuel and tires, SmarTire TPMS provides drivers with the necessary information to keep their tires properly inflated. Tire underinflation by as little as 10 percent results in a 1.5 percent drop in fuel economy, which can increase fuel spending by up to $1,000 per year for a single truck. Underinflation by 20 percent results in a 30 percent reduction in tire life.

SmarTire technology warns the driver of tire-related problems before they pose a safety hazard. Its temperature compensation feature allows the system to provide earlier warnings of a potential problem, providing valuable time for the operator to react to the issue before it results in a failure. 

The SmarTire system's in-vehicle dash display provides information including actual tire pressure and temperature for each wheel location, along with a deviation value that shows the amount of over- or underinflation from each tire's cold inflation pressure (CIP). This deviation value provides the user a deviation from target cold inflation pressure, regardless of tire temperature. The feature is important because tire pressure naturally increases when a tire's temperature increases. Increase in pressure can be due to normal operation or ambient conditions, but it can also be caused by underinflation. Without temperature compensation, a tire that is hot may appear fine to the operator. For drivers and fleets, this means they can accurately maintain their pressures anytime – whether a truck has been sitting idle or has been driving for hundreds of miles. An additional benefit the system provides is a high temperature warning, alerting the operator to a potential thermal issue, such as an overheated wheel-end due to a bearing or brake problem.

Later this year, Bendix will release SmarTire for trailers as an aftermarket retrofit kit typically consisting of four or eight wheel sensors, harnessing, and a wireless receiver. When paired with the latest version of SmarTire for tractors, the SmarTire trailer system will wirelessly link with the trailer, displaying both the truck and the trailer tire information.

"Kenworth continually strives to offer the best in safety advances to its customers, and both Bendix Wingman Advanced and SmarTire TPMS reflect that effort," said Eric Johnson, Kenworth on-highway marketing manager.

Bendix's Burkhart added, "The commercial vehicle industry is increasingly realizing the value of safety technologies, and for good reason – they are proven to help drivers reduce accidents and the high costs associated with them."

Bendix Wingman Advanced and SmarTire are key parts of Bendix's ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus four other areas critical to fleets' success: stopping power, actionable information, reliability, and fuel economy. Bendix understands these considerations are more important today than ever, as fleets operate in a challenging new environment that includes CSA, rising fuel costs, and federally mandated reduced stopping distance and emissions standards.

Technologies such as Bendix Wingman Advanced do not replace the need for alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.

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