Voith has introduced its patented SensoTop technology for heavy-duty transit buses into the North American market. SensoTop is designed to optimize bus transmission gear-shifting to reduce fuel consumption, saving transit systems money and further advancing Voith’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Last year, Voith opened a hybrid power-train development center near San Diego which will further develop Voith’s innovative hybrid diesel/electric power-train drive systems for transit buses.
SensoTop is based on Voith’s DIWA transmission system, but is equipped with an additional maintenance-free inclination sensor which will automatically adapt gear-shifts based on topography of the bus route. Based on preliminary tests, two to five percent in fuel savings is expected depending on the route.
“We’re very excited about the release of SensoTop in North America,” DIWA Sales Manager Brian Sharp said. “SensoTop will save transit systems money through improved fuel efficiency while making their buses more environmentally-friendly. We look forward to working with our customers to implement this technology on municipal transit buses across North America. This continues our commitment to providing them with transit technology that adds both economic and environmental value.”
The need for SensoTop technology is clear. Fuel consumption accounts for up to 30 percent of the operating costs for municipal transit buses. As fuel costs rise, the importance of saving money will only continue to increase for transit authorities. The reduction in fuel consumption will also lead to lower CO2 emissions, translating into more environmentally-friendly transit systems.
To achieve maximum fuel efficiency, SensoTop automatically adapts the gear-shifts of the DIWA transmission to the prevailing topography and load conditions. On ascending routes, SensoTop will adjust the gear-shifts to the precise power needed by the driver, while minimum engine speed is achieved on descending routes.
While ideal for hilly or mountainous routes, SensoTop achieved fuel savings even on relatively flat routes. The technology is currently being tested in a number of North American cities, including Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
SensoTop has been approved for use with clean diesel engines and does not infringe on EPA emission standards.