Back in the day a route bus driver used to have a paper timetable that he or she would follow across the course of their day.
A glimpse of the watch and a check of the timetable was about the extent of the process.
Then, in the past decade or so, electronic systems started coming in that help the driver keep track of exactly where they need to be, and when.
These systems also feed the travel planner type apps and online services that allow bus commuters to track in real time where their next service is.
They also feed info to passengers waiting at bus stops and inside the bus on info screens.
But will the systems work effectively with electric buses and their peculiarities?
Compared to a diesel-powered bus, which pretty much runs happily from morning to night with no time off the job, electric buses need to be charged, often for many hours at a time.
Their operational drive range can also be affected by factors such as traffic congestion, climate and passenger loads.
Global public transport-scheduling company Optibus believe what works for diesels may not work for electrics.
They recently launched a new software system aimed specifically at electric buses called OnSchedule EV.
Amos Haggiag, CEO of Optibus, tells us the system will help address the challenges of integrating electric buses into existing fleets.
“It’s not as simple as taking a diesel bus off the road and replacing it with a shiny new electric one,”
“Cities want to run more electric buses but are unable to implement them as fast as they would like.
“Transit operators find themselves ill-equipped to address these new requirements as their existing planning methods are outdated and often manual.”
The system was tested in China, where one of the world’s largest electric bus fleets is already on the job.
Optibus telling us the research phase revealed that EV bus batteries don’t always behave in accordance with manufacturer specifications, adding another layer of complexity to the scheduling problem.
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