LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Technology on, in and around trucks is growing by leaps and bounds, and while detractors abound, so too, are those who say technology is advancing safety by leaps and bounds, and making drivers’ lives easier and increasing business owners’ bottom lines.
Last year, for example, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC saw a 74 percent increase in base installations of its user-friendly Web portal, SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS, and launched a full integration service to better help fleets mesh SafetyDirect’s capabilities into their back-office systems, Bendix announced in a statement released today prior to the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show here.
“The temperature and pressure monitors installed inside tires; the directional, speed, and yaw sensors in full-stability systems; the radar and camera units in our collision mitigation systems; data from other vehicle systems — all of these generate essential information that can be invaluable to fleet safety programs,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions — controls. “As fleets adopt these advanced technologies, SafetyDirect’s integrated video and data management tools are in high demand for helping reinforce drivers’ best practices and improving training programs.”
The Bendix safety systems that connect with SafetyDirect are: Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program full-stability system; Bendix Wingman Advanced and Bendix Wingman Fusion collision mitigation technologies; AutoVue Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System from Bendix CVS; SmarTire Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); and SmarTire TrailerLink TPMS. SafetyDirect optimizes these safety technologies and accelerates return on investment through its data collection and reporting capabilities. SafetyDirect can also link to non-Bendix systems through the J1939 controller area network (CAN).
Around the clock, a severe event captured by SafetyDirect will trigger a notification, which is delivered to designated fleet personnel via smartphone, tablet, or e-mail. These events are recorded and stored with time and date indication, driver and vehicle ID, odometer reading, vehicle speed, GPS location, and, in many cases, video. The system also provides real-time driver performance information, such as following distance histograms and event counters for each driver.
“Through SafetyDirect, this data can be transformed into clear, actionable information,” noted Bendix spokesmen. “Fleet operators can create a driver’s score card, customizing weighted scoring systems based on their specific goals and needs, and generate reports that can help develop more targeted reward and training programs. The system also allows fleets to track trends such as increased incidents of drivers taking curves at excessive speed, for instance, and take steps to help the driver understand the situation with data — and help train him or her to improve performance on the road. Fleet managers may compare the performance of drivers and groups of drivers over time, or monitor a particular driver’s performance in different trucks.”
Other customizable aspects of SafetyDirect include over-the-air update functionality, which enables fleets to tune some of the system’s parameters wirelessly and remotely; and its Web portal landing page, or dashboard, which can be configured to put a fleet’s most desired information front and center.
When severe events occur involving systems with integrated forward-mounted cameras, SafetyDirect can provide a video clip to provide definitive context. The event history extends five seconds before and after the event, improving a fleet manager’s ability to quickly understand not only how, but why, it occurred.
“This ability to record video and integrate it with advanced data collection and translation is crucial to helping fleet managers quickly assess an event. Bendix has seen cases where SafetyDirect video information has been instrumental in establishing that a driver was not at fault following an accident,” spokesmen pointed out.
“Today, driver assistance systems on the road and insight from the road help fleets further strengthen their safety equation. The more information fleet managers have, and the easier that data is to mine for crucial information, the better equipped they are to create focused and effective training programs for enhancing driver safety,” Andersky said. “And even the most cutting-edge driver assistance system is no replacement for a properly trained professional behind the wheel, practicing safe driving habits.”
Andersky stressed that Bendix safety technologies complement safe driving practices and are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving. Responsibility for the safe operation of a vehicle remains with the driver at all times.
SafetyDirect is part of Bendix’s portfolio of technology developments to increase safety, reliability, lower total cost of ownership, and vehicle performance and efficiency.