Rashly driven buses that give poor mileage despite plying empty routes,buses that tend to pollute because of the way the engine is handled by drivers could all go if an ongoing Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) experiment to use onboard electronic diagnostics expands into a full-fledged programme.
The BMTC,as part of a pilot study,is using electronic diagnostic tools from Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions to diagnose usage and handling patterns on seven city buses to see if data from diagnostics can make buses more efficient.
We are running a pilot project. It will provide us information on engine use and handling,including temperature,engine oil consumption,emissions,the braking system,the speed of the bus as well as location through GPS, director,information technology,at the BMTC Kumar Pushkar said.
The BMTC proposes to evaluate the functioning of the buses equipped with onboard diagnostic systems over the next few weeks to decide whether the data is useful to improve efficiencies and whether the technology is affordable for large-scale implementation.
Next week we are expecting to take a decision on how to go ahead. Over the last month we have been monitoring seven buses. We think the technology will be useful to prevent buses from being run without,for instance,coolants. The technology is there but we have to see if it is affordable, Pushkar said.
According to the managing director of Boschs RBEI,Vijay Ratnaparkhe,the experiment with onboard diagnostics at the BMTC could lead to the creation of better drivers.
We have certain buses running in Bangalore which have better fuel efficiency than others. We can take diagnostic data and see if people can be trained to drive in a certain way to improve fuel efficiency. Take a months data and you can decide who needs a different training, he said.
If a person driving rashly actually wastes more fuel driving an empty bus rather than a full bus the data will be available. We take all the data from the vehicle and put it on a server and we can do data validation, said R K Shenoy,senior vice-president at Bosch.
We are collecting data to show that we can use the data for understanding usage pattern,driving pattern,fuel consumption, Ratnaparkhe said.
Our case is that the technology exists and it is up to users to decide why they need to use it, he said.
Recently,the BMTC introduced an information technology system to provide commuters real-time information through SMS on the location of buses and their likely arrival times at different stops.
In the case of the ITS system we were able to evolve a payment system that is spread over a five-year period which made it affordable. The adoption of onboard diagnostics also depends on the amount of capital expenditure, said the BMTC director for IT.