CHENNAI, India, May 21, 2014 – WABCO, a leading global supplier of technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles, today at its test track in Chennai, India, demonstrated its OptiDrive system, advanced automated manual transmission (AMT) technology for trucks and buses. WABCO’s AMT systems are available from 5- to 16-speed applications, including its breakthrough OptiDrive modular AMT system.
“WABCO expects to satisfy growing market demand and to expand its base of customers for AMT systems in India, which currently includes original equipment manufacturers and fleets,” said P. Kaniappan, Managing Director, WABCO India. “WABCO has been working on AMT programs in India with major commercial vehicle manufacturers for their respective truck and bus platforms, and we believe our industry in India could benefit greatly from adopting this technology more broadly.”
WABCO’s OptiDrive technology automatically engages the vehicle’s clutch and gear shift actuation. It takes into account the driver’s operation, engine torque, vehicle load and road inclination, resulting in optimized gear shifting, which increases fuel economy up to 5 percent for trucks and buses in congested city traffic and on long hauls alike.
WABCO’s AMT systems also free drivers from frequent shifting, reducing their stress and fatigue, while allowing drivers to further concentrate on traffic conditions. Optimized gear shifting improves driver effectiveness, particularly among less experienced drivers, and it enables more and better qualified drivers.
“OptiDrive shows WABCO’s technology leadership in automated manual transmissions as it continues to gain acceptance globally among makers of trucks, buses and transmissions, particularly in Asia and North America,” said Leon Liu, WABCO President, Asia. “WABCO pioneered our industry’s first AMT system in 1986 in Europe where today more than 60 percent of trucks adopt AMT solutions, and WABCO is further differentiated as we still remain our industry’s only independent supplier of compressed air-powered AMT systems.”
In addition, WABCO’s AMT solutions reduce wear on transmission components, lowering maintenance costs over the vehicle’s lifetime. Optimized gear-shifting also reduces emissions, resulting in an environmentally cleaner footprint for fleets.
WABCO has sold more than 2 million AMT systems worldwide since its introduction.
Recently, WABCO has partnered with a number of major commercial fleet operators in India, to newly develop as well as retrofit AMT solutions, including trials on buses. For example, VRL Logistics, one of India’s leading transport companies, tested WABCO’s OptiDrive system for six months on two buses.
“Our bus drivers report more comfort as there is no gear shifting and test findings indicate fuel savings from 5 to 8 percent,” said L. Ramanand Bhat, Chief Technical Officer at VRL Logistics. “Our drivers prefer vehicles with AMT as it reduces their stress and fatigue, and based on our satisfactory experience, we have further adopted WABCO’s AMT systems as original equipment fitment and retro-fitment for a large number of our trucks and buses.”
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