Growth strategies

Bendix makes safety technologies available for retrofitting

BendixBendix made news Monday at the ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting in announcing several of its leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies are for the first time available for retrofit.

The company says its new retrofit program enables the professional installation of Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade vehicles that did not come factory-equipped with the equipment. Systems currently available for retrofit include Bendix Wingman Fusion, Bendix Wingman Advanced, Bendix VORAD (Vehicle On-Board Radar) VS-500, AutoVue 4G Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System by Bendix CVS, Bendix BlindSpotter Side Object Detection System, and SafetyDirect from Bendix CVS.

“Keeping a fleet equipped with the latest safety technology can be a never-ending challenge,” says TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls. “It’s just not practical to scrap all your trucks and replace them overnight. The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program makes it possible to bring vehicles not originally built with selected safety systems up to speed with the latest increasingly essential systems. It helps enhance a fleet’s safety, while also contributing to an improved driver experience vehicle to vehicle.”

Bendix says the new retrofit program features two key elements: a comprehensive website that enables vehicle operators to determine retrofit opportunities per vehicle, and an escalating network of Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors (ARDs) to facilitate the professional installation.

Bendix says it will launch the website in mid-May to serve as the hub of the Retrofit Upgrade Program: www.bendixcvsupgrade.com. The company says the site allows fleets and vehicle operators to identify which retrofit upgrade options are available for specific vehicle make, model, and year configurations. It also allows Bendix to connect registered customers with a network of Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors that can assist fleets in securing Bendix retrofit installation and support.

Says Thomas, “The website is the essential first step in the equation. When it comes to the complexity of safety system retrofit upgrades, there’s no margin for maybe. That’s why the ability to retrofit any Bendix safety system depends on each vehicle’s specifications; given the build variability for each OE, and the vast array of aftermarket products that can be added, additional vehicle information is required to confirm retrofit compatibility on a specific vehicle.”

Though only six technologies are available for retrofitting at this time, Bendix says additional technologies, including Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake, will continue to expand the scope of the program throughout 2019.

“This program is a massive step forward in terms of driver, vehicle, and highway safety, and we are already partnering with a number of major fleets across a range of vocations on retrofitting these technologies,” Thomas says. “That work helped pave the way for the full launch of the program. Additionally, with full stability a requirement on new Class 7 and 8 trucks, more vehicles will have the foundational components in place to add these advanced safety systems in the future – and that carries the potential for greater highway safety for everyone.”

Intellipark also to be retrofittable 

Bendix also announced Monday its Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake will be available for OE release and retrofit installation in the fourth quarter of this year.

The company says Intellipark offers driver-friendly operational benefits while helping prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the parking brakes if the driver exits the vehicle while it’s unparked.

“Fleets have enthusiastically responded to this technology because it can be such a game changer when you look at how it can enhance safety and driver satisfaction,” says Rebecca Carter, Bendix product manager for specialty valves. “Nearly 60 percent of fleet managers who participated in a Frost & Sullivan survey confirmed that they had experienced a rollaway in a 24-month period.”

She adds, “Intellipark can help make these kinds of incidents, and their repercussions, a thing of the past. Throughout our testing, we’ve heard repeatedly that even the most experienced drivers are glad to have a backup parking brake system in place to help keep them safe.”

The Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program enables professional installation of an expanding portfolio of Bendix advanced safety technologies, such as Intellipark, to upgrade vehicles that did not come factory-equipped. The company says the program features two key elements: a comprehensive website that enables vehicle operators to determine retrofit opportunities per vehicle, and an escalating network of Bendix Authorized Retrofit Dealers and Distributors (ARDs) to facilitate the professional installation.

With a phased-in introduction that began in 2017, Bendix says the program has already been eagerly adopted by a growing list of major fleets across North America with upgrade installations taking place daily.

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