R&D

BENDIX Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Elyria OH, has announced the results of some of its latest research and development for its stability system, adaptive cruise control (ACC), and ACom diagnostics software.

The ABS-6 stability system for trailers is a high-performance electronic stability technology specifically designed for a broad range of trailer types and configurations. The technology will be available in early 2008, Bendix said.

ABS-6 is a roll-stability, ABS-based technology that replaces the company's current ABS-4 trailer stability system. The new system continues to build on the ABS-6 platform. It is designed for:

  • Fleets currently operating with no stability systems on existing tractors or trailers.

  • Trailer fleets with high owner-operator use or trailers that otherwise may be married with tractors not equipped with electronic stability.

  • Fleets that have dynamic trailer loads and fleets that haul dangerous cargo.

  • Fleets that carry high-value or precious cargo.

  • Fleets that employ tractors with roll-only stability systems.

  • Fleets that want to retrofit existing trailers equipped with or without ABS.

The ABS-6 is compatible with single, double, and multiple axle configurations, as well as trailer dollies. It works with multiple ABS configurations, from two-sensor, two-modulator (2S/2M) up to 6S/3M configurations. It functions with electrical power configurations from eight-volt to 32-volt systems with no need for an external power converter.

In other research and development at Bendix, the ACC enables a vehicle to maintain a set following interval, based on time, between the truck and the lead vehicle. To help decelerate the vehicle and keep the intended following distance, the Bendix ACC system will use throttle reduction, engine retarder, and brake application.

Bendix active safety systems also combine key elements and functions to deliver a robust technology that includes:

  • Following distance alerts provide warning levels to the driver using lights or sounds to let the driver know when he or she is tracking too closely.

  • ESP stability system provides the driver with more options to avoid a collision. Depending on the situation, the driver may elect to swerve to avoid an accident. Bendix ESP can help the driver maintain control of his or her vehicle.

  • Data management/telematics enables real-time information to fleets for their use in strengthening driver performance and tracking system activations. Information available from the ACC system and other vehicle systems will be tailored to individual fleet needs and may include target and actual following distance and time, driver identification, and vehicle identification, to name a few.

Fleet testing of Bendix adaptive cruise control is currently underway and Bendix anticipates production launch by early 2008.

Adaptive cruise control can be used in the same situations as standard cruise control. Like standard cruise control, the driver should avoid using the system in stop-and-go traffic, in inclement weather or poor road conditions, and at speeds considered unsafe for traffic, weather, and road conditions.

Complementing the other products is the latest version of its ACom diagnostics software to help fleets and technicians train, diagnose, repair, troubleshoot, and recalibrate components that form its antilock braking and stability systems.

The Bendix ACom Diagnostics 5.4 software, free for download at bendix.com, is a Microsoft Windows-based program that interfaces with the vehicle and reduces steps in the troubleshooting process and directs the technician straight to the diagnostic trouble code for an efficient repair. It covers current and most earlier generations of both tractor and trailer ABS applications from Bendix, including the ABS-6 Advanced with ESP electronic stability program.

The new version builds upon successful past versions of the software and includes updated diagnostic trouble code information to produce two different reports, and axle-specific installation testing for sensor sequence and pulse modulator test on tractors.

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