Utility vehicles: With robust, growing sales over the last six years, and reorder rates at nearly 100 percent, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC (Bendix) has now delivered more than 450,000 Bendix® ESP® Electronic Stability Program systems. The achievement reflects the market’s continued drive to adopt full-stability technology, and reinforces Bendix’s position as an industry leader in the technology.
“Since its launch more than a decade ago, Bendix ESP has not only been rigorously tested, it has also proven its reliability over many millions of miles in the real world. The system has earned the trust of the ever-increasing number of fleets, truck manufacturers, and drivers who turn to it,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president – sales, marketing, and business development. “We hear again and again from fleets how the technology rewards their businesses in terms of safety, performance, and value. They see firsthand the loss-of-control and rollover mitigation, along with the ROI benefits, and they come away as believers.”
Bendix introduced Bendix ESP in 2005. It was the first full-stability solution widely available for the commercial vehicle market. Bendix ESP took six years to reach 100,000 units sold, but that mark was tripled in the subsequent three-year period as original equipment manufacturers and fleets sought the technology, Bendix reported.
A legacy of rigorous and repeated testing – and Bendix’s commitment to continuous improvement of full-stability technology – underlies the stature of Bendix® ESP® in the industry. The company recently completed its 16th 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.
Meets the Mandate
Bendix ESP fully meets the new stability mandate of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which in June 2015 published its final rule requiring ESC (Electronic Stability Control) technology – known as full stability – on Class 7 and Class 8 truck tractors and motorcoaches with a gross vehicle weight rating of greater than 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds). NHTSA will implement the mandate in three phases: starting August 1, 2017, for Class 7 and 8 6x4 tractors – a majority of today’s tractors; June 24, 2018, for Class 8 buses; and August 1, 2019, for most remaining Class 7 and 8 highway tractor and motorcoach applications.
For its stability mandate, NHTSA chose ESC over RSC (Roll Stability Control), or roll- only technology. Fred Andersky, Bendix director of government and industry affairs, emphasized that Bendix always prefers to let the market be the catalyst to drive safety technology. The company applauds NHTSA’s decision, and believes ESC is the superior choice for safety, performance, and value.
“The benefits of full stability will be experienced industry-wide as NHTSA’s mandate is implemented,” Andersky said, “which will help to improve highway safety even further. In the future, we expect NHTSA will address stability on medium-duty vehicles as well.”
What Sets Full Stability Apart
Andersky noted two primary differences between vehicles equipped with full-stability technology and those with either a roll-stability system or ABS (antilock braking system) only.
First, full-stability systems use more sensors than either roll-only stability or ABS systems, creating a more comprehensive system capable of addressing both roll and directional stability. These additional sensors enable the unit to more quickly recognize factors that could lead to vehicle rollovers or loss of control. On dry surfaces, this means the system recognizes and mitigates conditions that could lead to rollover and loss-of-control situations sooner than roll-only options. Full-stability technology also functions in a wider range of driving and road conditions than roll-only systems, including snowy, ice-covered, and slippery surfaces. ABS systems are not designed to proactively react to potential roll or loss-of-control situations.
Second, interventions can also differ. Full-stability systems rely on automatic brake interventions involving the steer, drive, and trailer axles, whereas roll-only systems typically apply the brakes on only the drive and trailer axles. Slowing the vehicle quickly helps mitigate rollovers faster, while slowing and redirecting can help the driver maneuver in loss-of-control situations.
A Foundation Technology
Bendix® ESP® serves as the brake system foundation for Bendix advanced driver assistance technologies, including Bendix® Wingman® AdvancedTM – radar-based collision mitigation technology, and its flagship integrated collision mitigation technology, Bendix® Wingman® Fusion .
Wingman Advanced combines both adaptive cruise control and collision mitigation to help drivers mitigate or reduce the intensity of potential rear-end collision situations.
Wingman Fusion, a technology made available in 2015, offers enhanced collision mitigation, lane departure warning, stationary vehicle braking, and Bendix’s exclusive overspeed alert and action. Fusion combines next-generation advanced safety technologies (radar, camera, and brakes) into one comprehensive driver assistance system.
As Wingman Fusion detects a threat – such as a forward collision – it communicates with the ESP system to safely brake the vehicle while maintaining vehicle stability. The Bendix ESP and Wingman Fusion systems work together to help mitigate forward collisions, rollovers, and loss-of-control. The Fusion system’s camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art-vision algorithms.
The cross-platform availability of Bendix ESP strongly appeals to a wide range of manufacturers and fleets.
According to Andersky, once equipped, fleets consistently report up to a 50 to 70 percent reduction in rollovers and loss-of-control crashes. “This, in addition to reorder rates at nearly 100 percent, indicates the high ROI realized by fleets operating with the Bendix ESP technology,” he said.
Mack and Volvo offer Bendix ESP as standard equipment on their highway tractors, and it comes standard on the majority of Peterbilt® Motor Company’s Class 8 trucks and tractors as well. Other manufacturers offering the Bendix® ESP® system include International®, Kenworth®, and Prevost®. Bendix ESP is also available for more than 80 percent of all medium-duty chassis configurations at PACCAR and Navistar.
Last year, Motor Coach Industries (MCI), the leading intercity coach manufacturer in the United States and Canada, also announced the availability of Bendix ESP on its vehicles. Blue Bird Corporation added Bendix ESP as a factory-installed option in late 2014, making it the first North American school bus manufacturer to offer stability technology.
Designed to Assist Drivers
Andersky stressed that technologies such as Bendix ESP are designed to assist drivers, not replace them.
“The driver maintains responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle at all times,” he said. “No technology – regardless of how advanced – is as important as continuous, proactive driver training and alert, safe drivers practicing safe driving habits.”
The Bendix ESP full-stability system is part of the ever-growing Bendix portfolio of technologies that deliver on safety, plus other areas critical to fleets’ success. By improving vehicle performance and efficiency and providing unparalleled post-sales support, Bendix aims to strengthen returns on investment in equipment and technology, helping fleets and drivers lower their total costs of vehicle ownership, and enhancing roadway safety.
About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 3,000 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Bendix is headquartered in Elyria, Ohio, with manufacturing plants in Bowling Green, Kentucky; Huntington, Indiana; North Aurora, Illinois; and Acuña, Mexico.