As the commercial vehicle market increases its reliance on full-stability solutions to enhance driver safety, the pioneering Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system continues to serve as the industry-leading model of this safety technology. In 2012, more manufacturers and fleets than ever looked to the advantages of the proven and higher-performing Bendix ESP system, which achieved nearly 17 percent market penetration in class 6-8 air-braked vehicles.
The increase in ESP unit sales in 2012 and early 2013 pushed its total sales to more than 225,000 since the product's introduction in early 2005. Last year marked the third consecutive year of strong sales for Bendix, which was the first North American brake manufacturer to make full-stability solutions widely available for the commercial vehicle market.
"The continuing adoption of full-stability systems reinforces Bendix's long-standing recognition of full-stability technology as a means to improve safety for fleets, drivers and everyone on the roadways," said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president and GM, Controls and Modules. "Although we have more than a decade's worth of experience developing and improving Bendix ESP, we are working harder than ever to uphold its stature as the best full-stability choice available to the industry."
Bendix's commitment to the continuous improvement of its full-stability technology is supported by a legacy of rigorous and repeated testing. The company recently completed its 13th year of winter testing of commercial vehicle full-stability systems, giving it more experience than any other manufacturer in the industry and solidifying its position as the market leader in full-stability technology for tractor-trailers, trucks, and motorcoaches.
Full-stability technology such as Bendix ESP is more comprehensive than roll-only stability, since it addresses both roll and directional stability. On dry surfaces, full-stability systems recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control situations sooner than roll-only options. Unlike roll-only systems, full-stability technology functions in a wider range of driving and road conditions, including snowy, ice-covered, and slippery surfaces. Full-stability systems also contain additional sensors, enabling the unit to more quickly recognize factors that could lead to truck rollovers or loss-of-control.
Among the aspects that set Bendix ESP apart in the full-stability system arena is its inclusion of an air suspension sensor, which provides a more accurate load assessment. With a better load estimate, Bendix ESP can adjust its interventions accordingly, which results in a better-performing system while lowering the number of unnecessary interventions.
Full-stability interventions also differ from those in roll-only systems since they rely on automatic brake interventions involving the steer, drive, and trailer axles, while roll-only systems typically apply only the brakes on the drive and trailer axles. Adding steer-axle braking is important for addressing Reduced Stopping Distance (RSD) regulations, which now require more braking power to be concentrated on the steer axle. A brake intervention involving the steer axle slows the vehicle more quickly, helping mitigate rollovers faster, while slowing and redirecting can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.
The cross-platform availability of Bendix ESP also appeals to a wide range of manufacturers and fleets. For example, the system is now available for more than 90 percent of all medium-duty chassis configurations at PACCAR and Navistar.
"We are pleased to see such significant industry interest in full-stability technology, especially as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers implementing rules on stability requirements for tractor-trailers and motorcoaches," said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, Controls group. "If a regulation is to be put in place, Bendix supports an approach requiring full-stability rather than roll-only technology."
Bendix ESP is the foundation for Bendix advanced active safety technologies, such as Bendix Wingman ACB – Active Cruise with Braking adaptive cruise control technology, and Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, which combines both adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation to help drivers mitigate or reduce the intensity of potential rear-end collision situations. Bendix stresses, however, that technologies such as Bendix ESPdo not replace the need for alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, as well as continuous, comprehensive driver training.
The Bendix ESP full-stability system is part of the company's ever-growing portfolio of technology developments that delivers on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets' success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to help fleets and drivers lower total costs of vehicle ownership and strengthen returns on investment in equipment and technology.
For more information about Bendix ESP, call Bendix at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE or visit www.bendix.com.