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Set to deliver the “connected bus of the future” using i4.0 technology, the BusTech Group and Sage Automation are set to enhance the operational performance of bus fleets for operators with a focus on improving the travel experience for passengers, the companies have announced.

Currently collaborating to create integrated platform solutions for existing and new bus fleets, it is key that vehicles in operation present the next level of telematic data for performance measurement and vehicle optimisation, they state.

Governments, operators and communities continue to call on the transport industry to deliver an environmentally friendly approach to mass transit, they say.

With the transition to zero-emission buses (ZEBs) well underway – and in a program jointly developed by Sage and BusTech Group – Sage’s IoT data-capture device, Sage Edge, has been installed onto buses and vehicle infrastructure such as bus stops, they confirm.

Data captured by the device provides a range of information to benefit drivers, operators and passengers alike, such as real-time traffic condition updates and traffic event notifications, Sage explains.

Passengers will ultimately have access to in-vehicle infotainment services and real-time service updates, such as vehicle arrival time, seat availability and security alerts, it says.

Comprehensive data

Transport network operators will obtain a dashboard view of vehicle placement on the grid; real-time and trend data on passenger numbers on services and waiting time at bus stops; as well as vehicle performance telematics data, such as mileage wear on components, suspension, vehicle speed and powertrain health, assisting with predictive maintenance scheduling decreasing vehicle downtime, it’s claimed.

A trial of the home-grown solution is already underway and scheduled to roll-out across states with BusTech Group spokesperson Christian Reynolds saying he could not be happier with the platform.

“We are looking forward to demonstrating the value of the solution which will see the bus industry embracing i4.0 technology to deliver tangible benefits to passengers, operators and communities,” Reynolds explained.

“We are seeing more and more requests for integrated solutions for product performance; it’s no longer just about a vehicle, it’s about truly integrated solutions for mobility transit.

“With the bus at its heart, the opportunity to create a holistic multi-modal transport solution as part of an intelligent transport system is exciting to be a part of,” he said.

In a coming together of leading Australian capability, BusTech Group opted to draw on the smarts of Sage Automation.

The company has earned a reputation for disrupting the transport industry in recent years through advancements in traffic data capture, autonomous vehicle trials and intelligent traffic systems, it explains. In November, 2020, the Edge device won the Smart Transport Infrastructure award in the Intelligent Transport Systems Australia National Awards, Sage confirms.

Sage Automation’s general manager for Transport, Damian Hewitt, says the solution is a natural next step in the evolution of a smarter transport system.

“This partnership with BusTech Group will see learnings from the broader transport industry launch the bus sector into the future with data supporting improved passenger experience, vehicle performance and fleet efficiency.”

Details and results of the local trial will be announced in early 2021.