On the merits of improving safety, protecting vehicles, and providing actionable information to fleets, the Bendix® Intellipark® Electronic Parking Brake has earned North American Truck Writers’ recognition as one of the Top 5 new products or technologies of 2019. Intellipark helps prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by automatically setting the park brakes if the driver forgets. It also offers immediate, driver-friendly benefits such as ease of use – no more stinging button release – and clear indication of parking brake status, while generating data that fleets can employ to enhance their safety programs.
The overall winner of this year’s Jim Winsor Memorial Technical Achievement Award will be announced during the Industry Awards Luncheon at the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Annual Meeting & Transportation Technology Exhibition on Feb. 26 in Atlanta. Intellipark technology will be part of the Bendix solutions on display at TMC.
Bendix – the North American leader in the development and manufacture of active safety, air management, and braking system technologies – offers Intellipark through major truck manufacturers and the Bendix Retrofit Upgrade Program. The technology can be used on almost any air-braked vehicle, including tractor-trailers, single-unit trucks, motorcoaches, and school buses.
“When we were developing Bendix, we aimed to engineer an integrated
solution that would deliver multiple benefits from the driver’s seat to the back office to the garage, particularly in areas of safety, performance, and return on investment,” said John Kemer, Bendix vice president and general manager, Controls and Modules. “Earning this recognition from a group of experienced professionals who share our dedication to the trucking industry is truly an honor for everyone on the Bendix team, and we’re incredibly proud to have made the list of this year’s finalists.”
Each year since 1991, editors from the North American trucking trade press corps have honored a new product or technology with a technical achievement award. This year’s finalists were chosen from more than 30 new products nominated by the North American Truck Writers committee. To be eligible, a product or technology must show technical innovation, have a wide applicability and availability in trucking, and offer significant user benefits; and the winner best embodies innovation, vision, technical achievement, and applicability to the industry.
A Parking Brake with Smarts
Bendix Intellipark is designed to help prevent rollaway and runaway crashes by engaging the parking brake electronically if the driver exits the vehicle without setting the brake first. It can also automatically disengage trailer brakes while the vehicle is moving, and help the driver to maintain control if the parking brakes are applied while driving. The system operates through interlocks installed in critical areas such as the cab door or foot brake.
“Rollaways and runaway accidents can be deadly, and they’re not uncommon,” said Rebecca Carter, Bendix product manager for specialty valves, referencing a Frost & Sullivan survey in which nearly 60 percent of fleet managers said they had experienced a rollaway in the past 24 months. “But even if you’re fortunate enough that Intellipark is never called upon to activate, the system’s other benefits still significantly enhance the driver’s experience and play a role in fleet safety.”
In the cab, Intellipark replaces the traditional red and yellow push/pull knobs with easyto-flip switches that require less effort and don’t deliver the popping “sting” that comes with manually activating a 120-psi brake. The new switches still bear the familiar red and yellow symbols, along with integrated LEDs that quickly and clearly indicate the status of the parking brake on both the tractor and the trailer. Between the enhanced ergonomic design and being able to tell at a glance whether the tractor and trailer brakes are on or not, drivers have told Bendix that Intellipark makes a real difference on the job. Intellipark can also automatically release trailer brakes in the event that a driver forgets, which helps prevent tire and driveline damage.
From a fleet safety perspective, because Bendix® Intellipark® is electronic and connected to the vehicle’s J1939 communications network, it also generates data that fleets can use to gain insight when the system activates. Using a tool like the SafetyDirect® by Bendix CVS web portal, for instance, enables fleet managers to use that information to enhance their overall safety program by helping with driver training efforts.
Intellipark also marks another stepping stone on the path toward more advanced driver assistance systems, as it integrates parking brake functionality with technologies like Bendix® Wingman® Fusion™. Current collision mitigation systems can slow and stop a vehicle using engine dethrottling and foundation brakes. As steering technology develops to assist in getting a vehicle to the side of the road when no driver input is detected, Intellipark technology could help park that vehicle and bring it to a safe state. This type of additional brake functionality also serves as an example of the vehicle control redundancies necessary to advance driving automation capabilities from Levels 0-2 (which require a human driver monitoring the environment) to the significantly more automated Levels 3-5.
“No matter how advanced, no available commercial vehicle driver assistance technology replaces the need for safe and alert drivers practicing safe driving habits, supported by comprehensive, proactive driver training,” Carter said. “Bendix is proud to work with fleets and drivers and manufacturers across the industry to develop and improve products like Intellipark, helping to make for safer roads and shaping tomorrow’s transportation – together.”
Bendix delivers on safety, vehicle performance and efficiency, and unparalleled postsales support – all areas critical to fleets’ success – through its ever-growing portfolio of commercial vehicle technologies. By strengthening return on investment in the equipment and technologies that keep trucks and drivers safe and lower their total costs of vehicle ownership, Bendix strives to enhance the safety of everyone sharing North America’s roadways.