Volvo’s Zone Management technology is a development of geofencing and is revolutionising the way drivers and operators can engage in safer, cleaner and more efficient driving on the Volvo B5L S-Charge Hybrid. The technology works by allowing drivers and operators to define the geographical boundaries of any number of zones, including setting zero-emission zones, setting speed limits and adopting specific coaching areas to provide driver feedback. Within these zones, the bus will automatically adapt to the conditions within the set parameters.
Environmental Zones have been instrumental for customers across the country in allowing them to set zero emission zones in specific areas, for example parks and protected areas. When entering a zero-emission zone, a Volvo B5L S-Charge Hybrid bus automatically switches to full electric drive and the diesel engine will completely switch off, enabling significant fuel savings of up to 39%. The switch to electric mode is also automatic, with no need for driver intervention, ensuring total reliability when it comes to switching driving mode.
This technology has been particularly successful for McDermott’s Coaches in Tasmania, in allowing their 4 Volvo B5L S-Charge units to run exclusively in electric mode throughout the world heritage site, Cradle Mountain.
“From our side it was always about more than just fuel savings and emissions. The electric taking on and off in the park was a big thing,” says Simon McDermott, Managing Director at McDermott’s Coaches.
“The last thing you want to have is a high emitting bus in a heritage area and the fact that the Volvo B5L S-Charge can pull up and take off silently is a real benefit. It’s a fantastic thing for the customers, and we get a lot of feedback on it.
“The hybrid is a fantastic option, especially with the e-zoning. It’s made so much difference. They are running like an electric vehicle inside the national park.”
In addition to the Environmental zoning feature of the Volvo B5L S-Charge, Volvo’s Zone Management technology also provides enhanced passenger and pedestrian safety with Volvo Safety Zones and allows for increased driver performance and efficiency with Volvo’s Coaching Zones.
Volvo’s Safety Zones allow drivers to follow speed regulations within clearly defined geographics zones with a firm maximum speed limit in place. Ensuring the safety of passengers and pedestrians, particularly in sensitive zones such as schools, densely populated areas, as well as through hazardous stretches of road.
Volvo’s Coaching Zones are a refinement of I-Coaching, Volvo’s game-changing service for instant feedback on driving style. For a defined area, operators and drivers can set specific threshold values for the alerts. By restricting parameters like speed, cornering and braking in a sensitive area, the driver will be encouraged to drive more gently for an improved driving style and overall efficiency.
The combination of these environmental, safety and coaching zones, makes for a comprehensive package with the Volvo B5L S-Charge product and one that Volvo Bus Australia General Manager, Mitch Peden says provides great benefits to customers across the country.
“Our Zone Management technology across our Volvo B5L S-Charge Hybrid product has enabled enhanced efficiency, safety and sustainability to fleets across the country and we’re very pleased to see the positive impact this is having,” says Peden.
“Our Environmental Zones in particular, have enabled zero tailpipe emissions when activated and allow significant fuel savings as well a quiet and comfortable ride. Our Volvo B5L S-Charge is a globally tried and tested product, with a proven in-service record with thousands of vehicles in operation world-wide. We’re glad to offer this product to the Australian market where operators can adopt this part-time electric technology without the need for existing charging infrastructure, whilst experiencing the benefits of Volvo’s Zone Management technology.”