Maintenance

Allison's New Fuel Economy Technology Offered on Blue Bird Buses

Posted on May 3, 2017
Blue Bird is offering Allison Transmission's FuelSense 2.0 for new buses with Allison transmissions ordered on or after May 1.
Blue Bird is offering Allison Transmission's FuelSense 2.0 for new buses with Allison transmissions ordered on or after May 1.

FORT VALLEY, Ga. — Blue Bird Corp. is now offering an upgraded version of fuel economy software for its new buses that are equipped with Allison transmissions.

Blue Bird Corp. is offering Allison Transmission's FuelSense 2.0, featuring DynActive Shifting, for new buses ordered on or after May 1. This is a software update to Allison’s previous FuelSense offering, which is designed to help fleets optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs.

“We are excited to see Allison’s response to our customers’ needs by offering them ways to help increase fuel economy,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corp. “We look forward to seeing the savings districts experience with this calibration offering.”

FuelSense 2.0 has packages tailored to different driving conditions that Blue Bird school buses undergo each day. The new FuelSense 2.0 technology uses DynActive Shifting to provide a variable combination of shift points, and uses a learning algorithm to continuously find the ideal balance of fuel economy and performance, according to Allison. The technology was created to provide maximum value for applications with heavy start-stop needs, such as school buses.

“We have tested FuelSense 2.0 with customers in a variety of duty cycles, accumulating more than 3 million miles,” said Randy Kirk, senior vice president of product engineering and product teams at Allison. “There were fuel economy gains of up to 6 percent. This improvement resulted in a potential vehicle savings of $300 to $900 annually based on the application, annual mileage, and fuel price.”

There are three available packages — FuelSense 2.0, FuelSense 2.0 Plus, and FuelSense 2.0 Max — which all include DynActive Shifting. FuelSense 2.0 Plus and Max include the enhanced feature Neutral at Stop, and FuelSense 2.0 Max includes the enhanced feature Acceleration Rate Management.

The improved Neutral at Stop feature is designed to lower fuel consumption and emissions by reducing or eliminating the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped. Two versions are available: Standard, which provides partial (first-level) Neutral at Stop, and Premium, which provides full Neutral at Stop and a new, low-speed coasting capability. Both versions feature a locked output at stop to prevent rollback.

The enhanced Acceleration Rate Management feature mitigates aggressive driving by automatically controlling engine torque. Newly updated, in addition to five levels of control currently available, it provides more precision by limiting vehicle acceleration to a customized rate.

“Allison is constantly working towards improved fuel economy, and this latest technology further reduces fuel consumption in all segments of a bus’ duty cycle,” said Heidi Schutte, Allison Transmission's vice president of marketing and sales for the Americas. “FuelSense 2.0 offers increased specification flexibility and delivers the best economic value to our customers.”

To learn more about FuelSense 2.0, visit allisontransmission.com/fuelsense.

Related Topics: Blue Bird Corp., efficiency, transmissions

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