ELYRIA, Ohio — For decades, the iconic yellow bus has been proven as the safest way to get students to school and home again — and Bendix and Thomas Built Buses Inc. are working together to help make school buses even safer. Supporting both student safety and the men and women behind the wheel with a school bus industry first, the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake can now be ordered factory-installed on two Thomas Built models. Intellipark is available as an option on the Saf-T-Liner C2 equipped with a Cummins diesel or Detroit Diesel powertrain and an air brake package, and comes standard on the Saf-T-Liner C2 Jouley electric bus. Thomas Built Buses is the first school bus manufacturer to make Intellipark available.
A leading manufacturer of school buses in North America, High Point, North Carolina-based Thomas Built Buses was founded in 1916 and is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, the largest heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America.
“Thomas Built Buses continues to be a strong safety partner in our mission to provide student transportation drivers with advanced technologies and the best tools for helping to keep their passengers safe,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president, sales and marketing. “In a typical year, they carry nearly 25 million children on regular routes, and there’s no more important cargo than our collective future and the potential they represent.”
Bendix, a member of Knorr-Bremse and North America’s foremost supplier of safety technologies for school buses, is the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles.
Monitoring inputs in critical areas, such as the foot brake, the accelerator pedal, and wheel speed, along with a 30-second timeout, the Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake helps prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the brakes if the driver does not. The system utilizes a customizable J1939 network message to facilitate or inhibit unparking the vehicle to support when the driver intends to do so.
The Intellipark system replaces the familiar yellow push-pull dash valve with an easy-to-engage electronic switch, making it more ergonomically friendly and eliminating the “stinging” feel of engaging a 120-psi, hand-controlled park brake valve. The switch maintains the recognizable yellow symbols and text and includes built-in LED indicator lights that show the status of the brake immediately, offering an additional advantage over the traditional valves. Intellipark also offers increased durability and additional cycles over the current pneumatic system.
“School bus driving is a job unlike any other in both its demands and importance, and it matters greatly that we support North America’s school bus drivers in their mission of safely getting kids where they need to go,” said Thomas Built Buses President and CEO Caley Edgerly. “With Intellipark, we aim to make that job safer and easier behind the wheel, and offer additional peace of mind to parents, students, and fleet managers.”
Proven, Driver-Supporting Technology
“We’re driven to create the best solutions, and we believe Intellipark solidly delivers on that commitment,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions, controls group. “With Intellipark, the day-to-day driver experience in the bus will be enhanced by Intellipark’s functional advantages, and that also plays a role in safety.”
Introduced in 2019, Intellipark was named one of the year’s top five new technologies by the North American Truck Writers, as well as a Heavy Duty Trucking Top 20 product. It has been tested and proven across a wide range of conditions, and through hundreds of thousands of park and auto-park cycles, generating positive feedback from fleets and drivers.
School districts and fleets can also use information from the data Intellipark provides through Bendix SafetyDirect to enhance their safety programs and driver training efforts.
While Intellipark is designed to help drivers mitigate a variety of unsafe situations, no commercial vehicle technology replaces the need for safe drivers practicing safe driving habits, or the support of ongoing, proactive driver training. Responsibility for the safe operation of the vehicle remains with the driver at all times.
For more information about Bendix safety systems and technologies, visit www.bendix.com. Additional Bendix insight into advanced safety technology development, driver assistance systems, and commercial vehicle safety regulations can be found in Bendix’s multimedia center at knowledge-dock.com.
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. For more information, 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.