Advanced safety features coming to trucks

Fleet safety and productivity were the focus of new product introductions from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, including active cruise control with braking and a booster system to improve fuel economy.

Bendix Wingman ACB is available for fleets to order today, with vehicle delivery in early July. Several truck manufacturers, including Mack and Volvo, announced during MATS that they are incorporating offering the system on their new models.

Bendix Wingman ACB (active cruise with braking) delivers warnings and proactive interventions to help drivers avoid collisions. The system also collects data to help with fleet operations and driver training.

Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle — and building on Bendix ESP full stability technology — the system assists drivers in maintaining a set following distance between their trucks and vehicles in front of them.

With cruise control on and speed set, Bendix ACB will warn and provide active interventions — reducing throttle, engaging the engine retarder, and, if necessary, automatically applying the foundation brakes to help the driver maintain the intended following distance. When cruise control is not engaged, drivers still get the benefit of following distance alerts to let them know if they are getting too close to the forward vehicle.

Bendix Wingman was designed to deliver driver-friendly adaptive cruise control technology with full vehicle and braking system integration. Information, warnings, and operation of the system are incorporated into the vehicle dash. Drivers activate the system using the existing cruise control switches in the vehicle.

Automatic brake applications on wet, snowy, or ice-covered surfaces can result in directional instability — slide-out or over-steer events that can lead to a jackknife or loss-of-control situation. By including full-stability, with its capabilities for reading driver steering intent and vehicle direction, the potential instability instigated by the automatic application of the brakes can be mitigated.

Bendix also introduced its Pneumatic Booster System (PBS), an air management system designed to improve fuel economy and vehicle acceleration, while reducing engine emissions. Two models are available, reaching 80% of engine applications. The PBS 200 model is available for 4- to 8-liter engines, while the PBS 400 is available for 8- to 13-liter engines.

Mack was one of the truck manufacturers announcing that it will offer adaptive cruise control.

“Traffic conditions can change quickly from slowing vehicles or close cut-ins by other vehicles,” said Jerry Warmkessel, Mack marketing product manager-highway products.

Volvo also announced it would offer the system, which it will call Volvo Enhanced Cruise (VEC), a system that works with a truck's cruise control.

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