Aimed at catering to the needs of bus fleet operators, the ZF Group has developed an advanced fleet management tool, called the ZF Bus Connect that enables public transport or private bus operators to enhance and improve efficiency and performance of their fleets.
The company realises that for a smooth and efficient operation of bus fleets, routes, fuel consumption, regulations and legal requirements must work together in harmony. The solution has been developed for city buses and coaches with both electric and combustion engines or hybrid systems also in a mixed fleet.
The tool allows the user to check every aspect of the vehicle, including live view of vehicle locations in real-time, observe current energy or fuel consumption, check the status of battery charge or maintain status of the vehicles parts, brake wear and other system messages, said the company.
The digital solution essentially covers three areas – the on-board unit in the vehicle, the cloud, and the web-based portal for data analytics.
Fleet operators can either purchase this all-in-one solution from ZF as a package or connect to the cloud solution with their own compatible on-board unit and access the information via the portal as a third-party solution.
The solution is claimed to offer three clear benefits to fleet operators. It aids safety through geofencing and monitoring of driver’s behaviour to detect dangerous bus driving situations to prevent accidents and to protect against theft.
Live data evaluation on a per-bus basis allows optimisation of driving and route plans and improves fuel consumption, helping efficiency. The ZF Bus Connect also improves uptime with predictive remote detection of damages or wear and tear of consumable items compatible with real-world bus configurations as well as diagnosis and secure 'over the air' updates to reduce downtime.
Florian Freund, responsible for the ZF Bus Connect development said the digital solution is helping the bus operators with their difficult change to all-electric fleets. “With the power of data-analytics of in-vehicle data, we are helping operators to manage their fleet efficiently by reducing the energy or fuel consumption, while giving a clear overview to the CO2 footprint of the fleet,” Freund said.
The solution was developed in the ZF Group's Data Venture Accelerator, which is a worldwide hub for digital business within ZF's global research and development. Until now, the company said five fleets have converted to the new generation of solution.