Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems continues to add members to its Authorized Upgrade Centers (AUC) network.
The network consists of dealers and distributors that facilitate the installation of the company’s advanced safety systems on existing vehicles. The growing AUC network now includes locations in over a dozen states in the U.S.
The Bendix Upgrade Program – launched in 2017 – is a unique, first-of-its-kind program that enables professional installation of select Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade select vehicles that did not come factory-equipped, the company says.
Upgrades are specific to individual trucks and tractors, and include post-installation support and tracking. Only Bendix-certified AUC technicians have the required knowledge, training, and specialized tools and techniques to perform these advanced safety system upgrades.
“We are committed to providing fleets with our driver-tested, leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies through an upgrade program,” says David Schultz, Bendix director of aftermarket business development. “We’re now engaged in a selective, phased process of building our network of partners, which will result in Authorized Upgrade Centers strategically placed throughout North America.”
Through the Bendix Upgrade Program, fleets can consider a select range of upgrades – including Bendix’s proven collision mitigation and warning systems.
“Fleets face the constant challenge of keeping their vehicles equipped with the most advanced – and rapidly evolving – driver assistance technologies available,” says TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions – Controls. “Replacing all your trucks overnight is not a practical option. The Bendix Upgrade Program, on the other hand, enhances a fleet’s safety by enabling the latest systems to be installed on vehicles not originally built with them. The safety systems help mitigate accidents and support driver coaching through video and data, while contributing to an improved, more consistent driver experience, vehicle to vehicle.”
Thomas emphasized two key advantages of the Bendix Upgrade Program.
First, each upgrade is engineered for a fleet’s specific vehicle – make, model, and year, across a broad swatch of commercial vehicles – to ensure proper fit and function. This means Bendix upgrades will fit properly, operate correctly, and avoid vehicle conflicts, such as with the CAN network.
The second key advantage of the Bendix Upgrade Program, according to Thomas, is the support provided by the AUC and Bendix post-installation network of driver and technician training materials, VIN tracking, and access to the company’s full complement of technical support resources and tools. Upgrades are also covered by Bendix’s warranty programs, he says.
“Upgrading safety systems is highly technical work, and care must be taken to do it properly,” says Schultz. “Along with our deliberate approach to expanding our AUC network, we have in place a demanding training program specifically designed to certify technicians who already meet their company’s rigorous criteria. With upgrades expected to be completed in hours, the proper certification of installers is key to getting trucks back on the road the same day, with minimal disruption to fleet operations.”
Bendix says systems currently available for retrofit on select vehicles include:
- Bendix Wingman Fusion driver assistance system. Retrofits include select features only.
- Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology.
- AutoVue 4G Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System by Bendix CVS.
- Bendix BlindSpotter side object detection system.
- SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS video and data event recording.
- Bendix VORAD VS-500 collision warning system for trucks and tractors without the Bendix ESP full-stability program.
Additional technologies, including the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake, will continue to expand the scope of the program, the company adds.