The European Bus System of the Future 2 (EBSF_2) project is led by UITP and co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project (May 2015 – April 2018) capitalizes on the results of the previous EBSF project (September 2008 - April 2013). As the former, EBSF_2 is aimed at developing a new generation of urban bus systems by means of new vehicle technologies and infrastructures in combination with operational best practices, and testing them in operating scenarios within several European bus networks.
The distinctive factor of EBSF_2 is the consortium’s ambition to improve the image of the bus through solutions for increased efficiency of the system, mainly in terms of energy consumption and operational costs, as required by today’s economic situation.
The need for more cost-effective and energy efficient bus systems has led to the identification of a set of technological innovations and strategies with a strong potential to optimize mainly energy and thermal management of buses (in particular auxiliaries such as climate systems), green driver assistance systems, intelligent garage and maintenance processes, IT standard equipment and services. Moreover, to effectively address the need to move quickly from laboratory research to actual innovation of the bus fleets in operation in Europe, the solutions to be tested have been selected according to their technological maturity (and not only because of their potentiality) in order to ensure a short step for commercialisation after the end of the project. The use of simulators and prototypes has been conceived as a preliminary step for the validation of the innovations in real operational scenarios, performed also within the project, or as a necessary task to prove the potential of more futuristic solutions currently implemented at early stage of development (e.g. modular bus).
The commitment of the main European bus manufacturers combined with the presence of top-leaders suppliers and large operators with world-wide experience lead to expect that the results of the project will have an important impact on the urban bus services. Their joint collaboration is believed to produce high quality products for the next bus generation, strengthening the leading role in the world of the European bus industry and paving the way for the possible development of standard concepts. As the main impact of EBSF_2, the partners expect to observe the overall increase in the attractiveness of bus systems and the economic benefit with regard to the total operational costs.