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Bendix Wingman systems mark 10 years of evolution, adoption, helping improve safety

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Now in its second generation, Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™ is the latest iteration of the constantly evolving Bendix Wingman family of collision mitigation technologies launched 10 years ago. By continuously gathering, sharing, and confirming information, Wingman Fusion uses its radar and camera together to identify potentially threatening objects, both stationary and moving. This significantly improves upon their individual performance, and substantially reduces false alerts or activations as they work together. (Note: There is no image projected onto the vehicle windshield. This image is a simulated display for demonstration purposes only.) (Courtesy: BENDIX COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SYSTEMS)

ELYRIA, Ohio — Every day, a growing number of fleets and owner-operators adopt the Bendix Wingman family of solutions, which is marking a decade of innovation, progress and helping to enhance the safety of vehicles and roadways across North America.

“When we introduced the earliest generation of our Wingman product, we listened to what our customers were saying and knew it had the potential to provide significant value for fleets,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president – sales, marketing, and business development. “Our aim was to provide another effective building block that helped to deliver total lower cost of ownership and to maximize vehicle safety, reliability, and performance for fleets across North America. Ten years later, that approach is still driving us, as the current Wingman — Bendix Wingman Fusion — continues to evolve, and as we work closely with partners across the industry to shape tomorrow’s transportation.”

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems launched Bendix Wingman ACB — Active Cruise with Braking in March 2009. Then, two years later, Bendix Wingman Advanced — A Collision Mitigation Technology fulfilled the next step in the company’s safety technology road map, followed in 2015 by Wingman Fusion, Bendix’s flagship collision mitigation technology, currently in its second generation.

“The foundational technology of all the Wingman systems goes back even further, to 2005, when we introduced the Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program, which was North America’s first widely available commercial vehicle full-stability system,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions — controls. “With Bendix ESP in place, it was clear that additional safety advancements could be brought to market using full stability as the base. The vision of using ESP as the cornerstone to build active cruise control, collision mitigation, and Bendix  Wingman Fusion was all there very early on.”

Prior to the launch of Wingman ACB, Bendix acquired the VORAD  (Vehicle On-Board Radar) radar-based collision mitigation system, which enabled forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring capabilities. The knowledge gained in radars, control algorithms, alert strategies, and component testing as a result of the VORAD acquisition fast-forwarded Bendix’s learning by several years.

“When Wingman  Advanced came along in 2011, that’s really where we saw a big jump in adoption, because it works whether or not cruise control is activated – and again, we improved all the component technologies along the way as well,” Thomas said. “Once fleets saw it in action, and saw that it worked, and saw a reduction in rear-end accidents, they realized there’s a direct return on investment.”

Take rates for Wingman Advanced more than quadrupled that of Wingman ACB, and the technology became available through almost all major North American Class 5-8 truck manufacturers, achieving standard position on models at Kenworth Truck Company, Peterbilt Motors Company, Mack Trucks, Volvo Trucks North America, and International Trucks.

Wingman Fusion saw a similar advancement in its feature set: Bendix took something good and made it better, adding a forward-facing camera, deeper system integration, and new features including Lane Departure Warning, overspeed alerts and intervention, and – one of the crucial keys as the system became more complex – alert prioritization.

What positions Fusion at the leading edge of safety and driver assistance is its integration of information from multiple sources “fused” together, and not just in parallel.

Like its predecessor, Wingman Fusion is available on almost all major commercial truck brands, and has achieved standard position on many models. Across North America, a growing number of fleets of varying size, location, and vocation spec Wingman Fusion, reporting significant reductions in rear-end collisions – as much as 90 percent – and decreased severity of those that did occur.

Also speaking to the effectiveness of systems like Bendix Wingman is the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) annual “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.” The latest installment, released in February, picks up a goal it has named in previous years: to increase implementation of collision avoidance systems in all new highway vehicles. In this year’s list, the NTSB recommends that commercial vehicle manufacturers include forward collision avoidance system as standard, noting that the number of combination trucks involved in fatal crashes in 2017 increased nearly 6 percent from 2016.

“The men and women driving these trucks are also sharing positive feedback, including higher satisfaction with Bendix’s radar-and-camera systems than with radar-only technologies,” Thomas said. “And that’s not surprising, as more information about a situation – delivered into the system by two sensors instead of one – typically enables a more accurate reaction to a specific situation.”

The next generation of Wingman  Fusion, launched in 2018, helps drivers deal with even more uncertainties on the road, adding highway departure braking, ACB (Active Cruise with Braking) Stop & Driver Go, ACB Auto-Resume, and multi-lane emergency braking to its features, along with even more enhanced collision mitigation and braking capabilities. Fusion can also now provide full braking power on the tractor, compared with the two-thirds power previously possible, along with pulsing air back to the trailer to provide trailer braking, whether the trailer has an ABS/TRSP unit. Combined with improved sensor and data analysis, this means that in many emergency situations, the system can reduce a vehicle’s speed by as much as 50 miles per hour.

Never resting in its development cycle, Thomas said the company notes that the latest generation of Wingman Fusion is poised for release later in 2019.

And to help keep fleets equipped with the latest safety technologies, Bendix Wingman  Advanced™ and Wingman Fusion are available for retrofitting on vehicles already equipped with Bendix  ESP . This enhances safety while also contributing to an improved driver experience vehicle to vehicle.

Bendix emphasizes that no technology can replace a safe, alert, professional driver practicing safe driving habits, supported by proactive, ongoing driver training. Active safety systems are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving, and responsibility for safe vehicle operation remains with the driver at all times.

“Ten years after Bendix introduced Wingman  to the drivers and roads of North America,” Burkhart said, “what was once new and felt experimental is now a combination of proven technologies making a difference every day and helping to pave the way toward a future of safer vehicles and highways for everyone.”

 

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Optronics introduces first custom LED lamps featuring GloLight technology

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The new Optronics lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. (Courtesy: OPTRONICS INTERNATIONAL)

TULSA, Okla. — Optronics International, a manufacturer and supplier of heavy-duty LED vehicle lighting, said it will be displaying the industry’s first stop, tail, turn lamps with integrated graphics at the North American Commercial Vehicle (NACV) Show in Atlanta October 28-31. The new lamps merge brand identities into the lighting design, juxtaposing a smooth GloLight lens appearance against a more traditional LED pattern, Optronics said.

According to Brett Johnson, president and CEO of Optronics International, GloLight technology allows Optronics to consolidate even complex graphics into the functional operation of the lamps.

The new lamp’s traditional LED-style lens pattern surrounds the logo graphic in the middle of the lamp. The GloLight logo portion of the lamp illuminates when operating in its standard function as a tail lamp, and when the lamp’s turn signal or brake functions are in operation, all portions of the LED lamp brighten.

“This is an industry first and a novel use for our GloLight technology,” Johnson said. “Logos and branding have been widely incorporated into conspicuity tape for decades, so the migration to lighting is a logical one.”

Marketing professionals also recognize that the four-inch round and six-inch oval lighting formats are among the most noticeable features on any vehicle.

“Whether you’re consciously aware of it, if you’re driving behind a commercial vehicle, particularly at night, you’re constantly monitoring its tail lights,” Johnson said.

Optronics employed its 3-D printing capabilities in preparing prototypes for the manufacturers. The company also worked with a number of OEMs during the development of the lamp, including Vanguard National Trailer Corporation and Miller Industries.

The LED lamps offer users a broad level of creative design flexibility for those responsible for a company’s branding, because the GloLight technology can be used in both red and white or a combination of both. Lens striations can also be used to achieve unique and complementary visual effects.

Optronics products are available in the U.S. and Canada through the company’s extensive distribution network of more than 20,000 convenient distribution locations. Users can access individual Optronics distributor websites by simply clicking on their logo icons. For information on international sales and distribution of Optronics products, please contact Dorian Drake at +1 914-697-9800 or visit http://doriandrake.com.

 

 

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NHTSA issues ANPRM on camera monitoring systems as alternative to mirrors

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Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc. allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors currently required on commercial motor vehicles in the United States. (Courtesy: STONERIDGE INC.)

WASHINGTON — The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that could eventually lead to camera-based rear visibility systems, commonly referred to as camera monitoring systems (CMS) as an alternative to inside and outside rearview mirrors.

The federal motor vehicle safety standard currently requires that vehicles be equipped with rearview mirrors to provide drivers with a view of objects that are to their side or to their side and rear.

In a notice published in the Federal Register Thursday, NHTSA said the ANPRM responds to two rulemaking petitions: one pertaining to light vehicles from the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and Tesla and one from Daimler Trucks North America relating to heavy vehicles.

The agency said the ANPRM builds on the agency’s prior efforts to obtain supporting technical information, data, and analysis on CMS so that the agency can determine whether these systems can provide the same level of safety as the rearview mirrors currently required under federal regulations.

There is already some development underway in the CMS arena.

Last December, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption requested by Stoneridge Inc., allowing its MirrorEye CMS to be installed as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors. The exemption applies solely to Stoneridge’s MirrorEye system, making it the only CMS that allows for complete removal of traditional mirrors in the United States, Stonebridge said in a news release.

In issuing the ANPRM Thursday, NHTSA acknowledged that part of its responsibility in carrying out its safety mission is not only to develop and set new safety standards for new motor vehicles and motor vehicle equipment, but also to modify existing standards, as appropriate, to respond to changing circumstances such as the introduction of new technologies.

“Examples of previous technological transitions that triggered the need to adapt and/or replace requirements in federal safety regulations include the replacing of analog dashboards by digital ones, the replacing of mechanical control systems by electronic ones, and the first production of electric vehicles in appreciable numbers,” the Federal Register notice said.

The agency said it was publishing the ANPRM to gather information and receive feedback to enable the agency to decide whether (and if so, how) to propose amending federal regulations on rear visibility to permit camera-based systems as an alternative compliance option in lieu of outside rearview mirrors or in lieu of all rearview mirrors, both inside and outside ones. Specifically, NHTSA said, it hoped the ANPRM, through the public comment process, will provide the agency with additional safety-related research and data to support a potential future rulemaking on this subject.

NHTSA said it was asking for information based on 21 questions among the following seven categories:

  • Existing industry standards
  • System field of view and related test procedures
  • Image quality and related test procedures
  • Rearview image display type related human factors
  • Side rearview image display locations, driver acclimation and related test procedures
  • Camera durability, reliability and related test procedures
  • System availability when vehicle ignition is off

The ANPRM can be found at https://federalregister.gov/d/2019-22036, and on govinfo.gov

The deadline for public comments is December 9.

To comment online, go to www.regulations.gov, follow the instruction on the site using docket number NHTSA–2018–0021.

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Transflo offers Samsung Galaxy Tablets running the Transflo Mobile+ Platform

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Developed specifically for professional drivers, the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. (Courtesy: TRANSFLO)

TAMPA, Fla. — As Transflo continues to grow its digital workflow platform for commercial truck fleets and drivers, the company now offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8-inch 32GB LTE tablet compatible with the Transflo Mobile+ app and all Transflo products and services, including the industry’s leading electronic logging device (ELD) for mobile platforms.

Drivers can easily access information including electronic records of duty status on the Galaxy’s clear, bright 8-inch touch display, and its LTE connectivity ensures seamless cloud integration and compliance with U.S. FMCSA regulations for wireless transfers of hours-of-service data.

“The Samsung Galaxy Tab A running the Transflo Mobile+ app is the perfect solution for anyone currently using our ELD or who is about to transition to one,” said Vice President of Product and Innovation Doug Schrier. “It’s the only device that fleets and drivers need to manage a mobile workflow and get more done, anywhere and everywhere the job takes them.”

Schrier said the Samsung Galaxy Tab A uses the Android operating system, has 32GB internal storage, dual cameras (for document scanning), and a 1.4GHz quad-core processor for a combination of fast performance and power efficiency. Transflo also offers a range of mounting and charging options to keep the device powered up and secure inside the cab.

Developed specifically for professional drivers, Schrier said the Transflo Mobile+ app allows users to manage all their work from a single mobile app on one device. Additionally, Transflo’s ELD bundles offer complete fleet solutions that integrate with the mobile app and include: document scanning; integrated GPS-based navigation; weigh station bypass technology; two-way messaging; and services for finding fuel, truck scales, and other essential services.

Transflo offers the Samsung Galaxy Tab A with data plans through AT&T and T-Mobile.

For more information about tablets and Transflo’s ELD bundles, please visit transflo.com.

 

 

 

 

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