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Bendix Driver Assistance Cameras Earn FMCSA Exemption

Newer windshield-mounted safety system components, including driver-facing camera, declared compliant with rules on obstruction

ELYRIA, Ohio — With a decision that helps enable the next generation of advanced driver assistance systems and provides fleets with even more valuable data and options to enhance vehicle, driver, and roadway safety, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC has received a five-year regulatory exemption for Bendix’s windshield-mounted video cameras. These components are part of the Bendix Wingman Fusion collision mitigation technology, AutoVue 4G Lane Departure Warning (LDW) System by Bendix CVS, and SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS. The exemption allows the housing for the Bendix safety cameras – including a driver-facing camera as part of the SafetyDirect system – to be mounted slightly lower on the interior of the windshield than was previously permitted.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its decision April 6, and the exemption is in effect until April 6, 2026.

“As more fleets, drivers, and truck builders incorporate these safety technologies into their vehicles, it’s important that we’re able to continue advancing the systems without fleets and drivers having to worry about violating windshield clearance rules,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director – demos, sales, and service training. “This decision builds on similar previous exemptions that were made permanent, and it’s limited to the Bendix camera housing – which is about 5.6 inches tall and 5.4 inches wide. It allows the bottom of the component to reach eight inches below the top of the area swept by the windshield wipers – about an inch lower than the current regulation permits.”

In announcing the decision, the FMCSA noted, “The Agency has determined that lower placement of the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) technology would not have an adverse impact on safety and that adherence to the terms and conditions of the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety provided by the regulation.”

Windshield-Mounted Safety Tech
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. Because the Wingman Fusion active safety system and AutoVue LDW are effective in most weather conditions where lane markings are visible, the systems’ forward-facing cameras need to be mounted within the swept area of the windshield wipers. Motor carriers using approved safety technologies such as lane departure warning systems and collision mitigation systems can mount devices within the newly revised area, although the devices must still remain outside the driver’s sight lines to the road, highway signs, and signals.

The driver-facing camera covered by the exemption is part of the powerful fifth generation of the SafetyDirect processor platform, which Bendix launched in 2019. SafetyDirect is the user-friendly web portal that provides fleet operators with comprehensive feedback on their fleet and drivers, along with videos of severe events. The system wirelessly transmits real-time data and event-based information from a vehicle’s J1939 network to the fleet’s back office for analysis.

“This particular FMCSA decision is a narrow one, specific to Bendix,” Andersky noted. “And it expects that fleets and drivers will apply a level of common sense. The wrong devices, or too many of them in the sweep area, can still be in violation of the windshield obstruction rules. It’s important for fleets that are not using Bendix devices to check with their system supplier concerning the appropriate windshield clearance exemption for the device being used. If not, the fleet could be subject to inspection violations.”

Bendix ADAS Capabilities and Aftermarket Availability
Bendix, the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, launched the first generation of its powerful Wingman Fusion family of technologies in 2015, integrating radar, camera, and a vehicle’s brake system to create its flagship driver assistance system. Since then, Bendix has regularly expanded and improved the Fusion system’s capabilities through advancements such as multi-lane autonomous braking (AEB) and highway departure warning and braking.

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.

“The Wingman Fusion system, AutoVue, and SafetyDirect are on select vehicles through our network of Bendix Authorized Upgrade Centers, which means this exemption can also benefit fleets deciding to add these safety systems to vehicles already in service,” Andersky noted. “The upgrades are available for certain models manufactured by International Trucks, Kenworth Truck Company, Mack Trucks, Peterbilt Motors Company, and Volvo Trucks NA. More information on the program and vehicle upgradability by make and model is available at bendixcvsupgrade.com.”

Andersky added, “These are driver assistance and not driver replacement technologies. No technology replaces the need for skilled, alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, and that ongoing, proactive, comprehensive training is crucial to fleet and driver safety. Safe operation of the vehicle ultimately remains in the hands of the driver at all times, and advanced driver assistance systems are not meant to encourage or enable aggressive driving.”

Bendix safety technologies are part of the company’s ever-growing portfolio of commercial vehicle developments, helping deliver safety, efficiency, and vehicle performance, with the backing of unparalleled post-sales support. On all fronts, Bendix strives to help fleets and drivers lower total cost of vehicle ownership (TCO), encouraging investment in equipment and technologies that make highways safer for everyone.

For more information about Bendix safety systems and technologies, visit www.safertrucks.com, www.bendix.com, or call 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725).

About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of Knorr-Bremse, develops and supplies leading-edge active safety technologies, energy management solutions, and air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix brand name for medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses, and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. An industry pioneer, employing more than 4,100 people, Bendix – and its wholly owned subsidiary, R.H. Sheppard Co., Inc. – is driven to deliver the best solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Contact us at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-2725) or visit bendix.com. Stay connected and informed through Bendix expert podcasts, blog posts, videos, and other resources at knowledge-dock.com. Follow Bendix on Twitter at twitter.com/Bendix_CVS. Log on and learn from the Bendix experts at brake-school.com. And to learn more about career opportunities at Bendix, visit bendix.com/careers.

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