Bendix technology reacts to stationary vehicles in a truck's path

By David Tanner, Land Line senior editor | 9/19/2014

Braking for a stationary vehicle in the roadway can test even the best of drivers on their best days.

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems says its newest technology, once introduced, will be able to detect a stationary vehicle in a truck’s path, warn the driver, and apply the brakes if the driver does not react in time.

T.J. Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions in the company’s controls group, says the new system will be the first to offer “stationary vehicle braking” in the North American market. Thomas says it will be ready for launch in 2015 and will pair up with the company’s Wingman Advanced forward radar system.

“Today’s Wingman has radar as its heart, and the radar sees out using the Doppler effect. It’s very good at (calculating) the distance, angle and speed of the objects around it,” Thomas told Land Line. “What it can’t determine is size or exact position. It makes very good inferences,” he said.

“When you add a camera to that technology, the camera is very good at being a complement to that radar, meaning it’s good at things that the radar isn’t necessarily the best at. The camera can see how big an object is, it can see what it is, and it can see its exact placement in the lane, all that kind of stuff.”

“It’s meant to help the driver identify traffic changes that he didn’t anticipate,” he said.

Bendix Communications Director Barbara Gould says the technology is not there to replace the skills of the driver or make a driver complacent to roadway conditions.

“At the end of the day, the technology is there to keep good drivers having a good day, not a bad day,” she said. “We can’t reinforce enough that the driver is always in control.”

Bendix is currently road-testing the technology and has demonstrated it for numerous fleets.

A feature that is also being marketed to fleets involves transmitting real-time driver performance data back to the home office for analysis.

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