Supporting data-driven smart cities with advanced performance analytics
By David Warren and Lindy Norris
New Flyer of America Inc. (New Flyer) is constantly building upon its legacy of industry-leading innovation, and a key area of its focus is enabling smart mobility in transit throughout North America. More specifically, an exclusive technology from New Flyer is supporting the smart mobility transformation: New Flyer Connect® (CONNECT).
CONNECT is progressive technology that provides Smart City connectivity to enhance transportation mobility.
CONNECT is exclusive on-board telematics technology from New Flyer that communicates real-time GPS and analytic data to optimize bus performance, driver efficiency, safety, and preventative maintenance. First introduced in 2011, CONNECT is currently installed on over 6,500 New Flyer transit buses throughout North America. CONNECT is now standard on every new zero-emission Xcelsior CHARGE™ battery-electric bus, and optionally available on all New Flyer models.
CONNECT monitors all vehicle on-board controllers and databus systems, while recording GPS location to enable remote real-time monitoring and to allow two-way communication with the bus. CONNECT utilizes cellular communications and state-of-the-art cybersecurity technology to send and receive data. Cloud-computing provides valuable performance analytics, anytime and anywhere – whether on a laptop, desktop, or (newly-introduced) CONNECT mobile app from any mobile smartphone or tablet.
Real- world payback for transit authorities
San Francisco Muni (Muni) recently called on New Flyer in Muni’s effort to further reduce bus idling while parked, with the objective of minimizing noise, fuel consumption, and emissions. New Flyer implemented an engine shutdown software update that was sent over-the-air (OTA) to over 400 buses at seven locations throughout San Francisco. The entire fleet received the secure CONNECT OTA software update without a service technician touching a bus, and without any buses taken out of service.
New opportunities for smart mobility
Transit Agencies can utilize CONNECT to manage and maintain buses more efficiently and proactively; addressing operational issues before they develop into conditions that require service attention. CONNECT and OTA software updates enable smart mobility solutions to minimize energy consumption, reduce emissions, increase vehicle reliability and foster safe driving. Using vehicle-to-everything (V2X) interaction with grid infrastructure, CONNECT is especially well-suited for the Xcelsior CHARGE™ battery-electric bus, to manage peak load and time-of-use energy costs using smart charging solutions.
Transit agencies expect technology they can rely on, and CONNECT is a key part of New Flyer’s innovation focus to enable people to move seamlessly and more efficiently through our communities and cities.
CONNECT technology is prominently featured at New Flyer’s Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC) based in Anniston, Alabama. Transit authorities and city representatives are invited to collaborate directly with CONNECT engineers at the VIC in a unique and interactive hands-on learning environment, to learn how CONNECT can power bus fleets in a smarter way.
For more information on CONNECT, visit newflyer.com/nfconnect. For more information on the VIC, visit newflyer.com/vehicle-innovation-center.
David Warren is director of sustainable transportation and Lindy Norris is director of marketing communications for New Flyer of America. New Flyer of America is headquartered in St. Cloud, MN.