IC Bus, a subsidiary of Navistar, has made Bendix ESP Electronic Stability Program and Bendix Wingman Advanced – A Collision Mitigation Technology standard on its CE Series and RE Series school buses with air brakes. The OEM is the first to offer electronic stability control (ESC) – also known as full stability – and collision mitigation technology as standard features on school buses.
America’s school buses transport more than 25 million students every school day, according to the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT). Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that buses remain the safest option for getting students to and from school.
“We’re excited to join IC Bus in this important step for the industry and the millions of students who ride school buses daily,” said Scott Burkhart, Bendix vice president of sales, marketing, and business development. “Given today’s crowded highways and the distracted drivers also on the roads, it makes sense to employ advanced safety technologies. The systems are designed to help the good men and women behind the wheel of school buses – who themselves face more opportunity for distractions than any other class of driver – make it safely through the day with their charges.”
Along with the new standard offering, IC Bus has also made Bendix Wingman Fusion – Bendix’s comprehensive advanced driver assistance system – an option on CE Series buses.
The tech edge
“At IC Bus, we understand the importance of safety for the children riding our school buses,” said Trish Reed, vice president and general manager. “For that reason, we are committed to equipping our vehicles with proven advanced technologies. Bendix ESP and Bendix Wingman Advanced offer safety advantages and added peace of mind to everyone responsible for delivering our children to their destinations.”
The North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies for commercial vehicles, Bendix is also the foremost supplier of safety technologies for school buses.
Bendix ESP was the first widely available full-stability system for commercial vehicles in North America when the company launched it in 2005. The technology uses a system of sensors to recognize and mitigate conditions that could lead to rollover and loss of control. Full-stability technology functions in a wide range of driving and road conditions, including snowy, ice-covered, and slippery surfaces.
Bendix Wingman Advanced, built on the foundation of Bendix ESP, delivers active cruise control with braking features, along with collision mitigation technology. Using a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle, Wingman Advanced delivers both warnings and active interventions to help drivers potentially avoid rear-end collisions or, at least, help reduce their severity.
Whether or not cruise control is engaged, Bendix Wingman Advanced provides following-distance alerts at 5 mph and stationary-object alerts at any speed greater than approximately 10 mph. The system’s collision mitigation feature provides additional braking interventions, delivering up to two-thirds of the vehicle braking power. Above about 15 mph, this “always available” braking feature can assist drivers through an impact alert and an automatic application of the brakes to help decelerate the vehicle when a rear-end collision may be imminent. The driver still maintains control of the vehicle and can add additional braking or steering inputs to help avoid or minimize the collision situation.
Bendix Wingman Fusion, the company’s flagship driver assistance technology offered as an option on CE Series buses, is also built on Bendix ESP.
Wingman Fusion integrates a forward-facing camera and radar, along with the vehicle’s brake system, into a comprehensive driver assistance program. Gathering input through this suite of sensors working together, and not just in parallel, Fusion creates a highly detailed and accurate data picture using deep, multisystem integration, setting it apart from radar-only systems. The system’s camera is powered by the Mobileye System-on-Chip EyeQ processor with state-of-the-art vision algorithms.
IC Bus also makes available the Bendix ADB22X air disc brake. The ADB22X delivers significantly shorter stopping distances and a passenger car-like feel with consistently straight, stable stops and little to no brake fade. The performance of air disc brakes makes them ideal for pairing with and optimizing Bendix full-stability and collision mitigation technologies.
Based on its investigation of two fatal crashes involving school buses in 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently recommended that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) require all new school buses to be equipped with collision avoidance systems and automatic emergency braking technologies.
“The IC Bus decision to make ESC and collision mitigation systems standard was made independently from the NTSB recommendation,” said Fred Andersky, Bendix director of marketing and customer solutions controls. “But the NTSB findings – that stability control and collision mitigation may have helped mitigate the two crashes – only reinforces the value of the technology for school buses.”
Andersky emphasizes Bendix safety technologies are not intended to enable or encourage aggressive driving, and responsibility for the safe operation of any commercial vehicle remains with the driver at all times.
Bendix and its ever-growing portfolio of commercial vehicle technologies deliver on safety, vehicle performance and efficiency, and unparalleled post-sales support – all areas critical to the success of school bus fleets. By strengthening return on investment in the equipment and technologies that help school districts improve transportation and lower their total costs of vehicle ownership, the company aims to enhance the safety of school bus drivers, passengers, and all who share the road.