WABCO OptiDrive automated manual transmission (AMT) for trucks and buses

At its test track in Chennai, India, WABCO today demonstrated its OptiDrive system, advanced automated manual transmission (AMT) tech for trucks and buses. WABCO’s AMT systems are available from 5 to 16 speed applications. “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 Modular AMTWABCO’s OptiDrive automated manual transmission (AMT) technology automatically engages clutch and gear shift actuation. With driver’s operation, engine torque, vehicle load and road inclination taken into consideration, the result is optimised gear shifting to improve driver effectiveness (especially in less experienced drivers) and fuel efficiency by up to 5% for trucks and buses in congested city traffic and on long hauls. WABCO’s AMT systems does away with frequent shifting to reduce stress and fatigue letting drivers 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.”

WABCO Automated Manual TransmissionWABCO’s AMT solutions reduce wear on transmission components thereby reducing maintenance costs apart from being an environmentally cleaner solution for fleets. The company has partnered with major Indian commercial fleet operators to newly develop and retrofit AMT solutionsstarting out with trials on buses. VRL Logistics tested WABCO’s OptiDrive system for half a year on 2 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.”