Blue Bird First to Offer School Buses with Allison Transmission’s FuelSense® 2.0

School districts can now further optimize fuel economy on Blue Bird diesel buses

FORT VALLEY, Ga.--()--Blue Bird Corporation has announced a new product offering for their new buses ordered on or after May 1, 2017 with Allison transmissions: FuelSense 2.0®, featuring DynActive Shifting. This is a software update to their previous FuelSense® offering, which allows fleets to optimize fuel economy and performance to their specific needs.

“We are excited to see Allison’s response to our customers’ needs, by offering them ways to help increase fuel economy,” said Mark Terry, chief commercial officer at Blue Bird Corporation. “We look forward to seeing the savings districts experience with this calibration offering.”

FuelSense 2.0 is an upgrade from the previously offered FuelSense, and has packages tailored to different driving conditions that Blue Bird school buses face each day. 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,” said Randy Kirk, senior vice president of product engineering and product teams at Allison. “There were fuel economy gains of up to 6 percent. This improvement resulted in a potential vehicle savings of $300 to $900 annually based on the application, annual mileage and fuel price.”

There are three available packages, including FuelSense 2.0, FuelSense 2.0 Plus and FuelSense 2.0 Max – which 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’ – This feature 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’ – This feature 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.

“Allison is constantly working towards improved fuel economy, and this latest technology further reduces fuel consumption in all segments of a bus’ duty cycle,” said Heidi Schutte, vice president of marketing and sales for the Americas with Allison Transmission. “FuelSense 2.0 offers increased specification flexibility and delivers the best economic value to our customers.”

New Blue Bird buses with Allison Transmissions are now available with FuelSense 2.0 options. To learn more about FuelSense 2.0, visit allisontransmission.com/fuelsense.

About Blue Bird Corporation: Celebrating their 90th year in business, Blue Bird (Nasdaq: BLBD) is the leading independent designer and manufacturer of school buses, with more than 550,000 buses sold since its formation in 1927 and approximately 180,000 buses in operation today. Blue Bird’s longevity and reputation in the school bus industry have made it an iconic American brand. Blue Bird distinguishes itself from its principal competitors by its singular focus on the design, engineering, manufacture and sale of school buses and related parts. As the only manufacturer of chassis and body production specifically designed for school bus applications, Blue Bird is recognized as an industry leader for school bus innovation, safety, product quality/reliability/durability, operating costs and drivability. In addition, Blue Bird is the market leader in alternative fuel applications with its propane-powered and compressed natural gas-powered school buses. Blue Bird manufactures school buses at two facilities in Fort Valley, Georgia. Its Micro Bird joint venture operates a manufacturing facility in Drummondville, Quebec, Canada. Service and after-market parts are distributed from Blue Bird’s parts distribution center located in Delaware, Ohio. For more information on Blue Bird’s complete line of buses, visit www.blue-bird.com.

About Allison Transmission: Allison Transmission (NYSE: ALSN) is the world's largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, and is a leader in hybrid-propulsion systems for city buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including refuse, construction, fire, distribution, bus, motorhomes, defense and energy. Founded in 1915, the company is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and employs approximately 2,600 people worldwide. With a market presence in more than 80 countries, Allison has regional headquarters in the Netherlands, China and Brazil with manufacturing facilities in the U.S., Hungary and India. Allison also has approximately 1,400 independent distributor and dealer locations worldwide. For more information, visit allisontransmission.com.

Contacts

Blue Bird Corporation
Justyne Lobello, 478-396-3487
Product Communications & Marketing Manager
Justyne.lobello@blue-bird.com
or
Allison Transmission
Craig Koven, 317-242-3432
Corporate Affairs & Communications
craig.koven@allisontransmission.com

Contacts

Blue Bird Corporation
Justyne Lobello, 478-396-3487
Product Communications & Marketing Manager
Justyne.lobello@blue-bird.com
or
Allison Transmission
Craig Koven, 317-242-3432
Corporate Affairs & Communications
craig.koven@allisontransmission.com