Vehicle manufacturers have been putting their latest products through the First Bus testing program at Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK. Each year, First Bus spends most of August rigorously testing the very latest developments in bus technology in its pursuit of operating ever cleaner and more fuel efficient vehicles across the UK.
The results of the competition play a major part in the First Bus vehicle procurement strategy – in this financial year First Bus is investing US$92.5m (£70m) in 305 new vehicles.
Using a testing procedure developed by First Bus and Millbrook’s engineers, vehicles are put thought their paces on a course meticulously designed to reflect a variety of rural, urban and interurban bus routes. The buses, fitted with sophisticated equipment to monitor many performance aspects, undergo maximum speed and acceleration tests and are subjected to extreme gradients up to 25% to ensure they meet some of the more demanding requirements of real-world operations.
To replicate the driving pattern of a bus on an average working day, vehicles follow a route featuring hills, junctions, roundabouts and numerous bus stops. The buses travel at a range of pre-defined speeds and spend a proportion of the test idling to simulate passengers boarding at bus stops, just as they typically would while in service. Vehicles are ballasted to replicate passengers’ weight.
Millbrook will be at Automotive Testing Expo China 2016 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, at booth 3012 on September 27-29. Make sure you stop by!
August 25, 2016