The 2022 IC Bus dealer meeting featured many significant announcements regarding products, regulatory updates and industry trends. The bus industry will change drastically over the next 10 years and IC Bus and IC Bus dealers are proactively responding to these changes with everything customers need to take their fleet to the next level.
Several challenges stubbornly persist, not least of which is the nationwide shortage of drivers as well as unpredictable fuel costs. However, by leveraging cutting-edge technology from advanced driver aides to electric powertrains, many of these challenges are being addressed head-on. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the meeting.
The electric transition will be dramatically boosted by the infrastructure bill and sustained due to the eventual cost of ownership parity that will be driven by technological advancements. In fact, to witness an example of how quickly the transition will take place, one only needs to examine the school bus market where it is predicted that the majority of new buses sold by 2030 will be electric.
IC Bus and the NEXT eMobility Solutions team are helping school districts everywhere make the transition to electric. With a 5C approach to providing the foundation of eMobility, we collaborate with stakeholders to successfully implement and deploy electric vehicles.
- Consulting, using experts in commercial bus engineering, charging infrastructure, telematics and more — we help customers plan, execute and optimize zero-emission vehicles and investments for the entire lifecycle.
- Constructing the vehicle, taking advantage of Navistar's world-class commercial vehicle manufacturing capability.
- Charging, with solutions designed and delivered to each customer through new partnerships.
- Connecting, using advanced solutions including Navistar's OnCommand® Connection telematics and remote diagnostics platform, to monitor vehicle performance and provide support through the International® and IC BusTM service networks, the most extensive in the North American commercial transportation industry.
- Conserving recycling, repurposing and remanufacturing batteries to find environmentally-friendly end-of-life options
Within the trailer, customers will find:
- Electric Vehicle augmented reality
- Products and specifications
- The Bench
- The 5 Cs of electrification
- NEXT team mission
- Video Learning Library
Intellipark provides an ergonomic solution to setting the park brake and can help mitigate roll-aways. Intellipark is an electronic park brake which will visually indicate that the park brake is set or not set. When the driver does NOT set the park brake and turns off the ignition, the bus will provide an audible and visual alarm alerting the driver to set the park brake. If the driver does not set within 30 seconds, Intellipark will automatically apply the park brake.
Another safety feature discussed at the meeting was the Predictive Stop Arm. Designed to audibly warn deboarding students in the event of a stop arm violation, the Predictive Stop Arm uses radar and predictive analytics technology to monitor oncoming vehicle traffic and assess danger to students. When the system identifies a likely stop arm violation it warns students to ‘get back’ to keep them out of harm’s way.
- Increase Danger Zone Safety Bring the value of mirrors, video, safety, artificial intelligence and predictive technologies together to increase safety where students are at the most risk
- Alert Bus Drivers and Students Alerting the bus drivers and students themselves adds a critical safety layer to initiatives already in use on the school bus
- Use Radar and A.I. to Predict Risk Know when a stop arm violation is likely to occur, increasing your ability to take corrective steps when they are most required
- Reduce Driver Distraction Artificial intelligence and predictive analytics help identify likely stop arm violations, while also reducing the number of false alerts
The school bus Industry will be impacted by several regulations in the next 10 years. GHG Phase 2 is already in effect with increasing stringency through 2027. This regulation is driving improved fuel economy and electrification. California’s ACT and ACF rules will drive the need for early adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles. The low NOx rule will begin in 2024 for California and decrease NOx to 0.05 and even lower in 2027. This will be coupled with significantly increased emission warranty requirements that will pull the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of a diesel-powered vehicle closer to that of an electric one.