ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake continued to do their part to introduce advanced commercial vehicle safety and braking system technologies to the insurance industry during a recent safety demonstration at the Transportation Research Center in Columbus, Ohio.
During the event, the two companies demonstrated their safety innovations to nearly 100 employees and fleet customers of Zurich, a commercial property-casualty insurance provider. The event featured the Bendix Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Bendix ADB22X air disc brakes, and the Bendix Electronic Stability Program (ESP) stability system.
Representatives from more than 35 fleets participated in the event. According to Jim York, associate vice-president of risk engineering technical services for Zurich North America Services, the company’s goal was to educate both its fleet customers and Zurich personnel about one aspect of safety technology available and its potential to reduce highway accidents.
“While it is critical for fleets to be aware of and use such technologies, underwriters and others from the insurance industry also need to understand the potential value when assessing risk and premiums for fleets who adapt these in their operations,” York said.
The event also included representatives from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, an independent, nonprofit, scientific, and educational organization dedicated to reducing losses – deaths, injuries, and property damage – from crashes on the nation’s highways. All attendees participated in educational presentations and live demonstrations of the effectiveness of Bendix safety technology, including:
Bendix Adaptive Cruise Control (Bendix ACC) which is designed to enable a vehicle to maintain a set following interval, based on time, between the truck and the lead vehicle, and help to avoid collisions if the driver is momentarily distracted and the lead vehicle suddenly slows. The system uses throttle reduction, engine retarder, and brake application to help decelerate the vehicle and maintain the intended following distance, and provides audio and visual warnings as the truck closes in on the lead vehicle. Fleet testing of Bendix ACC is currently underway, with production launch planned for early 2008.
Bendix ADB22X Air Disc Brakes are designed to provide shorter stopping distances for increased safety, longer foundation brake life, greater stability during stops, and a passenger-car-like feel for the driver. Bendix officials say testing have shown truck tractors equipped with Bendix air disc brakes have consistently been able to stop within today’s regulatory standard for passenger cars (216 ft.) compared with the current Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 121 requirement of 355 ft.
Bendix Electronic Stability Program (Bendix ESP) addresses both roll and directional stability situations on dry, wet, snow, and ice-covered roadways and is available on International, Kenworth, Mack, Peterbilt and Volvo highway and vocational air-braked vehicles.
“Providing an educational forum for insurance companies like Zurich is important for Bendix, for the insurance industry, and for fleets, said Fred Andersky, Bendix marketing manager for electronics and the master of ceremonies for the demonstration. Not only do events such as this enable insurance companies to see, firsthand, the impact these technologies can offer for highway safety and, ultimately, insurance premiums, they also allow fleets and drivers to experience the effectiveness of the technology and its impact on overall safety. We’re grateful to Zurich for its participation in this event, and look forward to working with other leading organizations to expand understanding and support for these technologies.”
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