Bendix camera systems get 2-year safety extension

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems says it has received two-year regulatory exemption extension for the video camera component of its Bendix Wingman Fusion collision mitigation technology and AutoVue Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System.

The exemption – which took effect November 18, 2015 – allows fleets and drivers to continue installing and using Wingman Fusion and AutoVue while remaining within FMCSA regulations.  The new two-year exemption period expires on November 17, 2017.

“This extension means Bendix customers can continue to rest assured that a properly mounted Wingman Fusion or AutoVue camera will not constitute a violation, which may affect a fleet’s CSA BASIC score during roadside inspections,” says Fred Andersky, Bendix director of customer solutions – Controls Group. “As use of these types of driver assistance technologies continue to grow, it is possible this exemption could become permanent before Bendix would seek another extension.”

AutoVue is a vision-based system linking a camera with a 60-degree field of view to an on-board computer that uses image recognition software to track visible lane markings. This market-leading LDW system continually monitors a vehicle’s position and detects when the vehicle begins to drift toward an unintended lane change. Upon detection, AutoVue emits a distinctive “rumble strip” or other audible warning to alert the driver to make a correction.

Launched this year, Wingman Fusion integrates next-generation advanced safety technologies (radar, camera, brakes, and SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS) into a comprehensive driver assistance system that includes adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, collision mitigation, and overspeed alert and action. By combining the camera data with input from radar and the vehicle’s brake sensors, Wingman Fusion creates a highly detailed and accurate data picture of a vehicle’s situation and surroundings. The camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.

Under the FMCSA prohibitions on obstructions to a driver’s field of view, devices such as antennas or transponders that are mounted at the top of a windshield must be located outside the area swept by the windshield wipers. The exemption covering the camera component of Wingman Fusion and AutoVue  states that motor carriers using lane departure warning systems and collision mitigation systems can mount sensors no larger than 2 inches by 3.5 inches within that area, though not more than 2 inches below its upper edge, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road, highway signs, and signals.

Bendix is the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles. After Bendix purchased AutoVue from Iteris, Inc. in 2011, the company received a two-year FMCSA windshield clearance exemption for the system. The exemption was extended for an additional two years in November 2013.

Wingman Fusion and AutoVue are effective in most weather conditions where lane markings are visible, which means the systems’ forward-facing cameras need to be mounted within the swept area of the windshield wiper.

In an October 2013 report evaluating the effectiveness of on-board safety systems, the FMCSA found that trucks without LDW systems had an LDW-related crash rate per Million Vehicle Miles Traveled (MVMT) nearly twice as high as trucks equipped with such a system. This means that use of an LDW system translates to a 47.8 percent crash rate reduction per MVMT in LDW-related crashes. When the FMCSA renewed its initial exemption in 2013, it said the decision would maintain a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety achieved without the exemption.

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