To improve public transport, advanced bus technologies like the EcoLife automatic transmission and axle systems by ZF play an essential role. However, the right configuration is decisive so that they can fully leverage their joint efficiency potential: The bus axle ratio and the EcoLife transmission's shift program used must meet the requirements of the individual route as best as possible. To ensure this, ZF developed an limited route-related driveline consultancy in addition to the already available consultancy services: It stands for the detailed on-site analysis of tour and vehicle-specific parameters based on which the ZF experts calculate the ideal configuration recommendation – and thus reduce fuel consumption of newly ordered buses by up to four percent.
"We are proud to be able to offer public transport authorities our extensive know-how in the area of driveline and chassis technology for buses and coaches in form of a so-far unique service – the route-related driveline consultancy", says Andreas Moser, Senior Vice President of Axle & Transmission Systems for Buses & Coaches at ZF Friedrichshafen AG. "For even the most advanced transmission and axle systems are only maximally efficient if they are ideally adapted to the vehicle and to the corresponding route the vehicle is driving on."
The new ZF consultancy service is of even greater advantage the more challenging and varied a bus route profile is – with regard to topography, traffic density, or the average speed. For this purpose, ZF engineers use different diagnosis tools, for instance the in-house developed OASIS simulation tool as well as the telematics box by Openmatics. They are able to precisely define for the customer which vehicle with which axle ratio and which transmission shift program will drive with the highest efficiency on a specific route. The recommendations given as part of the consultancy have already decreased the fuel consumption of buses in operation by up to four percent.
The conventional driveline recommendation offered so far will primarily continue as effective, lower level consultancy service: Route-specific features are also considered here – however, the experts do not determine these directly at the transportation authorities, but from digital statistics data retrieved for instance from the speedometer and the transmission control unit which are used as basis for the recommendation.