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Bendix upgrades Wingman Fusion

ELYRIA, Ohio — Bendix has announced software updates to its Wingman Fusion collision mitigation system, which will enhance its stopping power and help drivers navigate stop-and-go traffic. The updates also add highway departure braking and active cruise with braking auto-resume functionality. Current customers will be able to access the new functions through a software update; no hardware swap-outs are required.

The updates will be available through truck OEMs next year. Bendix upgrades Wingman Fusion Active cruise with braking stop and driver go will work at lower speeds than before, such as in traffic jams or in parking lots, bringing the vehicle to a stop when necessary.

The driver can re-engage the functionality by touching the accelerator, causing the truck to automatically move along with the speed of traffic. The driver no longer has to push the resume switch. Active cruise with auto-resume re-engages cruise control after Fusion brakes the vehicle above a certain speed threshold.

The driver will no longer have to resume cruise if the system brakes and certain parameters are met. Wingman Fusion will also offer highway departure braking, which will apply the brakes and slow the vehicle if it has left the roadway – even applying the parking brakes if Intellipark is available. A multi-lane automatic braking feature will continue to apply the brakes if necessary, when a truck driver changes lanes during an emergency braking situation.

Additionally, Wingman Fusion will be able to apply 100% of the truck’s braking power, up from two-thirds that was previously possible. This will allow the system to slow the vehicle by as much as 50 mph. Andy Pilkington, manager of advanced driver assistance systems for Bendix, said trailer braking is not yet offered because there is currently no way to determine whether or not the trailer has fully functioning ABS.

“If we apply 100% of braking to a trailer without ABS, we risk trailer instability,” Pilkington noted, adding some systems in the market do activate trailer brakes despite the risk. “We are working on a solution to this issue in the future, and when it’s available, it will be added to the system to add additional brake force benefits.” Fred Andersky, director of customer solutions – controls, said customers should expect further changes to braking systems, including adoption of the European electronic braking system – or EBS. This, Andersky said, “will get more smarts closer to the wheel-end so we can reduce reaction time from the system and also improve the capabilities we can deliver.”

Stronger brakes will also be arriving, including increased adoption of air disc brakes, due to the demands of advanced driver assistance systems.

“These systems don’t have time to deal with brake fade,” he said, adding platooning trucks will require tractors with air disc brakes.

The need to keep the air moving through the brake system will also need to be kept cleaner, Andersky explained, citing the need for smarter air dryers.

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