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25 March 2009

Voith Turbo Unveils New Driver Assistance System

Hybridisation is increasingly an issue for the rail vehicle industry. Last year Voith Turbo presented the SteamTrac/SteamDrive in the EcoPack – a drive system that is nearing series maturity and can be installed separately or additionally in railcars or locomotives for hydrostatic recuperation.

A new serial two-cylinder engine is currently being developed for the SteamTrac. Voith engineers intend to install this tool into a vehicle for test purposes by Autumn.

An innovation that has already caused a stir is the new driver assistance system that Voith developed as part of EcoConsult. Additional fuel savings of up to 15% are possible with the system without technical intervention.

As part of the EcoConsult systems, which allows vehicle operating data to be adapted to individual routes, it is now possible to give locomotive drivers concrete driving recommendations.

The system operates like a navigation surface in a road vehicle. Through GPS the route is identified in detail and 15% of the fuel consumption can be influenced by the driver. As in a passenger car, the fuel consumption can be reduced by driving with foresight and good knowledge of the route.

Compared with other systems, the Voith system is platform-independent. A fully separate device: the automatic timetable computation. Like all other EcoConsult tools, the driver assistance system is to be introduced as a modular principle. It can be integrated into the vehicle completely or in part, depending on the functions and type of recommendations required by the vehicle operator.

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