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Blue Bird first to offer school buses with Allison Transmission’s FuelSense 2.0 to optimize fuel economy

Blue Bird Corporation is offering a new product for their new buses ordered on or after 1 May 2017 with Allison transmissions: FuelSense 2.0, featuring DynActive Shifting. This is a software upgrade to the previous FuelSense offering, which allows fleets to optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs.

FuelSense 2.0 has packages tailored to different driving conditions that Blue Bird school buses face daily. The new FuelSense 2.0 technology uses DynActive Shifting to provide an infinitely variable combination of shift points, and uses a learning algorithm to continuously find the ideal balance of fuel economy and performance. It provides maximum value for applications with heavy start-stop needs, such as school buses.

We have tested FuelSense 2.0 with customers in a variety of duty cycles, accumulating more than 3 million miles. There were fuel economy gains of up to 6%. This improvement resulted in a potential vehicle savings of $300 to $900 annually based on the application, annual mileage and fuel price.

—Randy Kirk, senior vice president of product engineering and product teams at Allison

There are three available packages, including FuelSense 2.0; FuelSense 2.0 Plus; and FuelSense 2.0 Max—all include DynActive Shifting. FuelSense 2.0 Plus and Max include Neutral at Stop, and FuelSense 2.0 Max includes enhanced Acceleration Rate Management.

Improved ‘Neutral at Stop’ lowers fuel consumption and emissions by reducing or eliminating the load on the engine when the vehicle is stopped. Two versions are available: (1) Standard – Provides partial (first-level) Neutral at Stop, or (2) Premium – Provides full Neutral at Stop and a new, low-speed coasting capability. Both versions feature a locked output at stop to prevent rollback.

Enhanced ‘Acceleration Rate Management’ mitigates aggressive driving by automatically controlling engine torque. Newly updated, in addition to five levels of control currently available, it provides more precision by limiting vehicle acceleration to a customized rate.

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