ELYRIA, Ohio — Already earning praise from drivers in fleet trials, the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake has been named one of the Top 20 products of the past year by Heavy Duty Trucking.
Intellipark helps prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the brakes if the driver exits the vehicle while it is not parked. It also offers immediate driver-friendly benefits such as ease of use and clear indication of parking brake status on both the tractor and trailer.
With this year’s award, Heavy Duty Trucking has honored Bendix technology five times in the past eight years. In 2017, the Bendix ADB22X-LT air disc brake engineered specifically for trailers made the list. Bendix Wingman Fusion, the company’s leading-edge advanced driver assistance system, earned the honor in 2016. The 2013 roster included the Bendix eTrac automated air pressure transfer system, and Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology, was recognized in 2012.
“This recognition from Heavy Duty Trucking is not only a much-appreciated honor from a respected industry voice, it’s a further encouragement that Intellipark is a game-changing technology, both in its immediate benefits and long-term position as a building block for things to come,” said John Kemer, vice president and general manager of Controls & Modules. “It really takes one of the basic component functions in trucking and elevates it to something that provides significant advantages to drivers as well as fleets.”
Bendix Intellipark is currently available for order, with a widespread market release coming in the second half of this year. Rebecca Carter, Bendix product manager for specialty valves, says Bendix is already receiving “overwhelming interest” in the technology.
At its most basic level, Intellipark is designed to help prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the parking brakes if the driver exits the vehicle while it is not parked. It can also automatically disengage trailer brakes while the vehicle is moving and help the driver to come to a controlled stop if the parking brakes are applied while driving.
But even if the system is never called upon to activate in any of those situations, it still delivers improvements in the cab and to the fleet.
Intellipark replaces the traditional red and yellow push/pull knobs with easy-to-flip switches that require less effort and don’t deliver the popping “sting” that comes with manually activating a 120-psi hand-controlled brake valve. The new switches still maintain the familiar red and yellow symbols and text, along with integrated LEDs that clearly indicate the status of the parking brake on both the tractor and trailer.
“Changing the human interface for a parking brake may not sound like a big deal to people who don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel of an air-braked vehicle,” Carter said. “But I’ve performed ride-alongs in the cab with a host of drivers when they experience Intellipark’s interface for the first time, and that enhanced ergonomic design—along with being able to tell at a glance whether the parking brakes are set or not—is a true evolution for the industry.”
Because Intellipark is electronic and connected to the vehicle’s J1939 communication network, it also generates data that fleets can use to gain insight when the system is being electronically activated or when state changes occur in the system’s interlocks. Using data available from SafetyDirect by Bendix CVS, for instance, enables fleet managers to enhance their overall safety program by helping with driver training efforts.
Forward to the Future
Intellipark also marks another stepping stone on the path toward more advanced driver assistance systems, as it integrates parking brake functionality with technologies like Bendix Wingman Fusion.
“Current collision mitigation systems can slow and stop a vehicle using engine dethrottling and foundation brakes,” Carter noted. “And in the not-too-distant future, we can see steering technology assisting to get a vehicle to the side of the road if it detects no driver input – but without Bendix Intellipark, there’s no way to park that vehicle and bring it to a truly safe state.”
This type of additional brake functionality also serves as an example of the vehicle control redundancies necessary to advance driving automation capabilities from Levels 0-2 (which require a human driver monitoring the environment) to the significantly more automated Levels 3-5.
Bendix Intellipark is engineered for use with most air-braked vehicles, including tractor-trailers, straight trucks, motor coaches, and school buses. And although it’s designed to help drivers mitigate a variety of unsafe situations, no technology replaces the need for safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, or the support of ongoing, proactive driver training.
Heavy Duty Trucking will present Intellipark’s award to Bendix in March at the 2019 TMC Annual Meeting and Transportation Technology Exhibition in Atlanta. TMC (Technology & Maintenance Council) is part of the American Trucking Associations.
The industry publication’s Top 20 products and services were judged on their innovation, ability to address top industry issues, and potential to improve a fleet’s bottom line in areas such as safety, efficiency, and maintenance. The list was compiled by Heavy Duty Trucking editors and the HDT Editorial Advisory Board, made up of executives and managers representing fleets of a variety of sizes and types. Entire vehicles are not included, and products must be commercially available or scheduled to become commercially available this year.
About Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC.
Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, 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 3,200 people, Bendix is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost.
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