Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Bendix looks forward

They may not have a crystal ball, but the folks at Bendix are confident the administration will issue a final rule on electronic stability control systems on trucks and buses by the end of 2014. And that's not all. The company says another potential mandate, this one known as forward collision avoidance, is just around the corner.

Fred Andersky, director of government and industry affairs and fleet marketing for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, briefed members of the press Wednesday morning at MATS about electronic stability control, or ESC, and forward collision avoidance.

Andersky says the ESC proposal, which was introduced by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in May 2012, could happen as early as October.

"We do expect a final rule to be published this year," Andersky said.

NHTSA estimates that the systems would add $1,160 to the price of new trucks and would prevent up to 2,300 crashes per year.

OOIDA has challenged those figures in comments filed to the official docket, saying the administration has overstated the benefits and understated the costs.

Turning to forward collision avoidance, Andersky says NHTSA is considering a 2015 to 2016 time frame to make a proposal, with a possible final rule in 2019.

Fred Andersky, director of government affairs for Bendix
Andersky is the face of Bendix in Washington, D.C., where he meets with lawmakers and regulators on issues such as stability control and collision avoidance for trucks and buses.

Preventing crashes is the stated mission of NHTSA, the FMCSA and other administrative departments in D.C.

"Things have changed a bit. NHTSA is doing a lot more reaching out," Andersky says.

He says Bendix is not in the business of pushing for mandates, but rather is providing guidance and research to federal agencies to make the right choices.

The example Andersky provides is the preference for ESC, as opposed to RSC, which is rollover stability control. With ESC, it's a more comprehensive technology that expands beyond rollover prevention.

"These systems are not going to make a bad driver a good driver, but they can help a good driver avoid having a bad day," Andersky said.

Keep an eye out for more information on the ESC proposal, and a future proposal for forward collision avoidance.

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