ELYRIA, Ohio — Attending in-person school bus technology demonstrations may be an industry standard, but the reality of the coronavirus pandemic calls for an entirely new format when it comes to event-based demos. And Bendix is delivering.
This year, with live, on-site product demonstrations temporarily halted, Bendix is redefining the ride-and-drive demo experience: On Thursday, Sept. 24, from 3-4 p.m. ET/noon-1 PT, the company will host the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo, a live-streamed event broadcast via satellite. Like a traditional demonstration, the virtual demo will give school district officials, school bus dealers and distributors, and other professionals connected to the school bus industry a firsthand, live view of advanced safety systems in action, but from the comfort and safety of a virtual setting.
Showcasing Safety Technologies in a Whole New Setting
The virtual demo – generating from Northeast Ohio, near Bendix’s Elyria headquarters – will take place as part of the Bus Technology Summit, a virtual conference and trade show presented by School Transportation News Sept. 21-24.
The Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo will showcase a full range of the company’s integrated safety solutions for school buses, while giving participants a close-up look at how the technologies work in everyday situations. Attendees will experience in-bus and on-track views of real-time maneuvers, as the production will employ multiple camera angles, split screens, and replays.
While a departure from Bendix’s 15 consecutive years of popular ride-and-drive demos – currently paused because of the pandemic – the virtual events will provide many of the same benefits in an all-new experience.
“2020 has been an unconventional year that requires unconventional thinking. At Bendix, we’re driven to create the best solutions; so even though we can’t host traditional demos at the moment, we still want to provide a firsthand, inside look at what our technologies can do for school bus fleets, drivers, and others across our industry,” says Nicole Oreskovic, Bendix vice president of marketing, product planning, and sales operations. “We’ve planned the Bendix virtual school bus demo to do this and more.”
She continued, “This unique, live-action event will showcase all of our newest safety technologies as they’re installed on school buses, so industry professionals can learn how they perform in real-world situations and understand their return on investment. For further insight, participants can join in view polls, live chat with Bendix specialists, and ask questions in real time.”
Earlier in the day on Sept. 24, the company is also hosting the Bendix Virtual Trucking Demo, focusing on safety technologies for tractor-trailers.
Benefits to Attendees
The Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo is the company’s latest in a long-standing line of truck and school bus demonstrations designed to help the commercial vehicle industry experience the newest safety technologies. Since 2014, the Bendix demo team has traveled regularly to destinations around the U.S. and Canada, conducting some 400 demos for almost 7,000 participants.
By hosting the livestreamed school bus demo, Bendix will provide an alternative to those events to help school bus professionals see the technologies performed live, while meeting the industry’s need to work remotely.
“With the virtual format, more fleets and drivers will have the opportunity to see the advanced technologies in action – not just those within the typical 2-hour radius of a regional demonstration,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of demos, sales and service training. “No matter your location, you can participate and discover new solutions. We believe this dynamic new approach will be very appealing to everyone.”
Attendees at the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo can look forward to multiple benefits, according to Andersky.
“If you’re a school bus manager who hasn’t been considering advanced safety technologies, the virtual demo can help make you aware of what’s available to assist with your specific equipment needs,” Andersky said. “If you have been thinking about these technologies for your bus fleet, but are unsure about proceeding, the demo allows you to experience them and help in your decision-making.”
He continued, “For school bus managers already using these safety systems, you get to see how the technologies are evolving, as we’ll be showing new products coming out in the next three to six months, in addition to current solutions. And for drivers, the demo will help provide a fuller understanding of what the safety technologies on your vehicle do and how they work.”
Products Being Demonstrated
School bus managers, drivers, and technicians tuning in for the Bendix virtual demo will see Bendix’s integrated safety technologies as equipped on a school bus. The interactive demo will include maneuvers showing the technologies in use on the test track.
Registered participants are not required to attend the entire duration of the session. By referring to the detailed program that will be provided, attendees can review the options to select and tune in for the specific technologies of interest to them.
The Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo will feature:
• Bendix Wingman Family of Collision Mitigation Technologies, including Bendix Wingman Fusion and Bendix Wingman Advanced
• Bendix ESP Full-Stability System
• Bendix ADB22X Air Disc Brakes
• Bendix Intellipark Electronic Parking Brake
“The virtual demo will show practical applications of advanced technologies engineered to help school bus fleets and drivers be safer on the roadway, and provide a look at the trajectory of where the technology is going,” Andersky said.
How to Register for the Virtual Demo
Register to attend the Sept. 24 Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo in one of two ways:
• Sign up for the 4-day Bus Technology Summit, presented by School Transportation News, Sept. 21-24: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QS9WJ3P
• Or, if you can’t make the Bus Technology Summit, but want to attend the Bendix virtual demo, sign up at http://safertrucks.com/vsbusdemo
Once registered, attendees will receive a web link via email through which they’ll access and view the livestreamed broadcast.
Tips to Make the Most of the Livestream Experience
To ensure an optimal viewing experience, attendees should view the broadcasts with a personal computer or laptop (rather than a smartphone or tablet), using an up-to-date version of either Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. (Microsoft Edge will also work, but may not provide an optimal experience.) In addition, the livestream is best viewed with an internet connection download speed of at least 10 Mbps.
Andersky noted that when registrants receive the link to the live feed, they should click on it to make sure they won’t have issues with their firewall; if so, registrants should seek IT assistance from their organization to ensure access.
As is true of every Bendix demo, the company emphasizes that advanced safety technologies are designed to complement safe driving practices, and that no commercial vehicle safety technology replaces a skilled, alert driver exercising safe driving techniques.
The drivers behind the wheel – supported by proactive, ongoing driver training – are vital to highway safety, and maintain responsibility for the safe operation of any vehicle at all times.
“Our industry requires flexibility, agility, and responsiveness. The pandemic has taught us all valuable lessons about doing this differently,” said Lance Hansen, Bendix vice president – aftermarket sales, fleet, service, and field operations. “As we tackle our evolving technology roadmap and maintain a focus on delivering best-in-class integrated solutions, we are also hard at work implementing new and exciting ways to deliver increasing value to our customers through tools such as training, and a reinvigorated approach to sales and service. These virtual demos are just one example of how we are bringing innovation and increased access to the marketplace.”
To learn more about the Bendix Virtual School Bus Demo, visit https://safertrucks.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 is driven to deliver solutions for improved vehicle safety, performance, and overall operating cost. Contact us at 1-800-AIR-BRAKE (1-800-247-275) 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.