Field tests for Voith’s SensoTop transmission technology showed transit authorities saving up to 7 percent in fuel use for their heavy-duty transit buses. Savings were achieved across multiple transit authorities and routes varying in elevation and length.
SensoTop represents an updated version of the software used to control Voith’s DIWA.5 transmission. When combined with a maintenance-free inclination sensor that Voith has added to its ECU, this software allows the transmission to automatically adapt gear-shifting points based on acceleration, vehicle load and the topography of the route.
SensoTop is available for immediate retrofit on all existing Voith DIWA.5 transmissions, and will be offered on new buses this year. Through a collaborative effort, SensoTop has been approved for use with all Cummins engines.
“Can a transmission really save you money? As these tests have shown, the answer is a resounding yes,” DIWA sales Manager Brian Sharp said. “What’s most impressive about these tests is that SensoTop achieves savings on diverse topographies and routes; both mountainous and flat and those with frequent and infrequent stops. Not only will North American transit authorities see significant fuel and cost savings with SensoTop, they will contribute to environmental sustainability by significantly reducing their CO2 emissions.”
Field tests were completed in Austin, Texas, Lancaster, Pa., Minneapolis, Minn., Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Mateo County, Calif. These tests occurred over several weeks, and each location experienced fuel savings between 3 and 7 percent. Over one particular week, Minneapolis saw savings over 12 percent. Based on Voith’s tests and calculations, one of the transit authorities involved in the test can expect to save over $1,700 per year per bus by installing SensoTop technology, which would translate into over $560,000 in yearly savings if the entire fleet were equipped with SensoTop transmissions.