Bendix Upgrade Program

Bendix expands fleet access to upgrade program

Feb. 2, 2021
Growing network of Authorized Upgrade Centers delivers latest safety system advancements for in-service vehicles

Fleet access to the Bendix Upgrade Program continues to increase as Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems expands its network of Authorized Upgrade Centers (AUC).

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 more than a dozen states in the U.S.

The Bendix Upgrade Program, launched in 2017, enables professional installation of select Bendix advanced safety technologies to upgrade select vehicles that did not come factory-equipped. 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, Bendix said.

“We are committed to providing fleets with our driver-tested, leading-edge commercial vehicle safety technologies through an upgrade program,” said 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.

“Upgrading safety systems is highly technical work, and care must be taken to do it properly. 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.”

Fleet advantages

Through the Bendix Upgrade Program, fleets can consider a select range of upgrades, including Bendix’s collision mitigation and warning systems. The Bendix website bendixcvsupgrade.com is the starting point for fleets interested in finding out if their specific vehicles are eligible for an upgrade and which systems can be considered. The technology meets high quality standards, similar to when that system is installed at the factory.

“Fleets face the constant challenge of keeping their vehicles equipped with the most advanced and rapidly evolving driver assistance technologies available,” said TJ Thomas, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions for 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 company said.

“It’s critical that the configuration of the vehicle and the equipment already on it will integrate with the new capabilities to be added,” Thomas said. That could mean some vehicles may be upgrade-capable, and some vehicles may not be. In all cases, he pointed out, Bendix, along with the AUCs, will provide specialized upgrade expertise for evaluation and installation.

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 also are covered by Bendix’s warranty programs.

“Don’t overlook the necessity of post-installation quality checks and tracking, because they are vitally important,” Thomas said. “Take VIN tracking. The Bendix Authorized Upgrade Center can verify, by VIN, which trucks have been upgraded and provide that information to the fleet. Especially if you’re upgrading a larger number of vehicles—say, 30 or 50 trucks over three different locations—there’s no substitute for this tracking. Sometimes a fleet may incorrectly document that upgrades on all their trucks were completed, when in fact they were not. VIN tracking verifies which vehicles were upgraded to help keep fleet records accurate.”

System availability

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.

Bendix upgrades are fully installed and include all components, overlay harnessing, connectors, special brackets, and displays needed for a complete installation. It’s important to note that these upgrades usually look different than factory-installed systems, but the system alerts, functionality, and performance are very similar, so drivers will know just what to expect behind the wheel.

Fleets wishing to learn more about the Bendix Upgrade Program should visit the program’s website, bendixcvsupgrade.com. The site enables fleets and vehicle operators to identify which upgrade options are available for specific vehicle make, model, and year configurations. It allows Bendix to connect registered customers with an Authorized Upgrade Center that can assist fleets in securing Bendix upgrade installation and support. 

About the Author

Commercial Vehicle Staff

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