WABCO Introduces OptiDrive, a Breakthrough Transmission Automation System; New Modular Concept Benefits Vehicle and Transmission Makers
BRUSSELS, Belgium, April 1, 2009 – WABCO Holdings Inc. (NYSE: WBC), a global technology leader and tier-one supplier to the commercial vehicle industry, today introduced OptiDrive™ as the brand name for the company’s new modular automated manual transmission system, continuing the company’s 20-year track record of technology leadership in transmission automation.
As previously disclosed, this new system’s high degree of modularity significantly reduces the development time required for application to transmission and vehicle platforms, enabling faster time to market for manufacturers of trucks, buses and transmissions. WABCO’s new OptiDrive system can also be easily adapted to an existing manual transmission without changing it, further accelerating market introduction.
Depending on the driver’s preference, WABCO’s new OptiDrive system can change gears in full automatic mode or as initiated by the driver. By optimizing the gear shifting process, this new system improves vehicle control and enhances comfort. It also significantly contributes to lower average fuel consumption by shifting at the most effective speed, a major cost saving over the vehicle’s lifetime.
As previously reported, China National Heavy Truck Corporation (CNHTC) began equipping their new flagship truck series with WABCO’s OptiDrive system in December 2008. The largest producer of heavy duty trucks in China, CNHTC is the world’s first original equipment manufacturer to adopt WABCO’s OptiDrive system in volume production.
“WABCO’s new OptiDrive system is one of the most creatively engineered products in our global portfolio, providing more efficient vehicle performance, further vehicle safety and increased driver comfort,” said Hans-Jürgen Sander, WABCO Vice President, Driveline Control. “With its high degree of modularity, our new OptiDrive system means faster time to market not only for truck and bus makers but also for transmission manufacturers. Our OptiDrive system will help expand demand for automated manual transmissions worldwide, especially in markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, where adoption of such systems is expected to grow rapidly.”
In 1986, WABCO introduced the first electronic transmission automation system for commercial vehicles, an industry breakthrough, and today the company is a leader in transmission automation technology based on more than 20 years of continuous innovation in driveline controls.
WABCO Vehicle Control Systems (NYSE: WBC) is a leading supplier of safety and control systems for commercial vehicles. For over 140 years, WABCO has pioneered breakthrough electronic, mechanical and mechatronic technologies for braking, stability, and transmission automation systems supplied to the world’s leading commercial truck, trailer, and bus manufacturers. With sales of $2.6 billion in 2008, WABCO is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.
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