New Flyer Unveils World’s Most Advanced Electric-Bus Simulator
Anniston, Alabama, USA – February 26, 2018: (TSX: NFI) New Flyer of America Inc. (“New Flyer”), the U.S. subsidiary of New Flyer Industries Inc. (“NFI Group”), the largest transit bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, today commissioned the Xcelsior CHARGE™ Bus Simulator at New Flyer of America’s Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC), North America’s first and only innovation lab opened in October 2017 and dedicated to advancing bus technology.
The simulator, designed and installed by FAAC Incorporated using a 180-degree screen display and 4K projection system, is one of the first in the world to use full-scale original equipment manufacturer (OEM) components to control the bus simulator. Drivers of the simulator will experience a bus environment with hardware operating just as it would in a zero-emission, battery-electric Xcelsior CHARGE™ transit bus. Drivers familiar with traditional bus systems will notice a working door and ramp, lights, mirrors, air-brake system, and adjustable driver’s seat inside a full-scale CHARGE™ front cabin.
“The Xcelsior CHARGE™ Bus Simulator at the VIC features an 8-foot-tall screen with 180-degree field of view screen, the largest screen FAAC has ever installed,” stated Derek Fulk, Senior Project Manager at FAAC. “The screen was critical in providing a realistic experience for the bus operator, and delivering a learning experience complete with audio, visual, and tactile details.”
This simulator is the world’s first application of the Digital Projection E-Vision 4K projector. The display system projects 4K (high definition) resolution onto a cylindrical screen through ultra-short throw lenses. The effect is full-visibility of the virtual environment, creating a near-identical driving experience complete with tactile sensations reflecting curb and roadside jostling.
The simulator’s main objective is to support driver training specific to regenerative braking, an energy-saving technique drivers can employ in conserving battery-electric energy. Operating techniques and skills gained from the simulator will improve bus operation, including extended range, reduced energy consumption, and less brake system maintenance. Engineers, maintenance technicians, drivers, transportation representatives, business leaders, and regulatory officials are among those expected to gain insight into operating electric buses through the simulator.
“The simulator is just one element of the VIC featuring modern technology to support research and development in advanced public transit solutions,” stated Wayne Joseph, President of New Flyer of America. “New Flyer is committed to leading advancement of bus and coach technology in America, and working with FAAC helps bring this vision to life, while benefiting Americans through training that leverages electric and autonomous bus technology.” Joseph added “A skilled driver of an electric bus can have as much as a 15% impact on the energy use, so critical skills training of this type can dramatically reduce Transit Authorities operating costs.”
NFI Group has over 50 years of experience in manufacturing zero-emission buses (ZEBs) and employs more American workers than any other bus manufacturer in North America.
About NFI Group
NFI Group and its subsidiaries comprise the largest bus and motor coach manufacturer and parts distributor in North America, with 32 fabrication, manufacturing, distribution, and service centers located across Canada and the United States and employing nearly 6,000 team members.
NFI Group provides a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under several brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), MCI® (motor coaches), and NFI Parts™ (bus and coach parts, support, and service). NFI Group’s vehicles incorporate the widest range of drive systems available ranging from clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, trolley-electric, battery-electric, and fuel cell-electric.
- New Flyer is North America's heavy-duty transit bus leader and offers the most advanced product line under the Xcelsior® and Xcelsior CHARGE™ brands. New Flyer actively supports over 44,000 heavy-duty transit buses (New Flyer, NABI, and Orion) currently in service, of which 7,300 are powered by electric motors and battery propulsion and 1,600 are zero-emission.
- ARBOC is North America’s low-floor, body-on-chassis (“cutaway”) bus leader serving transit, paratransit, and shuttle applications. With more than 2,500 buses in service, ARBOC leads the low-floor cutaway bus market providing unsurpassed passenger accessibility and comfort over traditional high-floor cutaway vehicles. ARBOC also offers a medium-duty bus for transit and shuttle applications.
- Motor Coach Industries is North America’s motor coach leader offering the J-Series, the industry’s best-selling intercity coach for 11 consecutive years, and the D-Series, the industry’s best-selling motor coach line in North American history. MCI actively supports over 28,000 coaches currently in service.
- NFI Parts is North America's most comprehensive parts organization, providing replacement parts, technical publications, training, service, and support for NFI Group’s bus and motor coach product lines.
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