Fleet Safety and productivity were the focus of two new product introductions from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems: an active cruise control with braking and a booster system to improve fuel economy.

The Bendix Wingman ACB (active cruise with braking) is an innovative technology that delivers warnings and proactive interventions to help drivers avoid collisions, and 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 a driver maintaining a set following distance between his truck and vehicles in front.

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.

The system 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.

Bendix believes full-stability is a critical foundation for all active safety technologies. That's why Bendix Wingman ACB is built on full-stability.

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.

Several truck manufacturers announced during MATS that they are incorporating the Bendix Wingman ACB into their new models.

Besides potentially reducing accident-related costs, early tests indicate that the system may have the additional benefit of fuel conservation, as enabling drivers to stay in cruise for longer periods of time usually results in better fuel economy. Plus, the active interventions of the system may help reduce collision-related costs.

Pneumatic booster

Bendix also introduced the 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; the PBS 400 is for 8- to 13-liter engines.

Currently undergoing internal validation and field and engine benchmarking testing, PBS simultaneously improves engine efficiency, reduce turbo lag, and reduces Nitrous Oxide (NOx) emissions and particulate matter.

The system is placed near the engine air intake manifold and monitors the Controller Area Network (CAN) for specific signals. Once the conditions for activation are met, the PBS injects compressed air from an auxiliary air tank into the engine manifold, delivering the desired amount of air that the diesel combustion processes require.

“Bendix has long been known as a pioneer in commercial vehicle air treatment,” said Steve Mance, vice-president and general manager of the charging business for Bendix. “We are using our core air-management capabilities and expertise to go beyond the air-brake system.”

Typically, when a driver presses down on the throttle to demand acceleration, there is a delay in engine response because of turbo lag. This lag constitutes the time difference between acceleration demand and the maximum air delivery of the turbocharger.

The Bendix PBS system overcomes turbo lag by instantaneously injecting the desired air into the intake manifold, allowing the turbocharger to spin up to its full capacity and taking over the air-delivery demands.