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Steering system for high-capacity buses

Steering system for high-capacity buses
Steering system for high-capacity buses
© Huebner Group

[Hübner] At the InnoTrans 2022 in Berlin, the Hübner Group, with headquarters in Kassel, Germany, will be presenting its new steering technology for high-capacity buses as a world first. The advantage of the new, modular steering system: It makes it possible to safely maneuver 30-meter-long high-capacity buses in urban settings. The Hübner steering system will be shown regularly in operation in live demonstrations at the exhibition’s outdoor area.

To put it simply, high-capacity buses are streetcars that run on rubber wheels – or trackless trams. They consist of three vehicle segments with a total of six axles and two gangways. Vehicle transport capacity is approximately 300 passengers. High-capacity buses combine the advantages of both buses and trams – and they can be integrated into existing transport infrastructure without requiring the construction of a rail network. This makes them particularly suitable for cities that need expanded transport capacities in a short period of time. For the safe operation of high-capacity buses, a reliable steering system is essential. This must intelligently link all the six axles of the vehicle to allow for optimal control in urban traffic.

Hübner has developed a steering system that intelligently controls the six axles of high-capacity buses. This allows for safe and secure driving as well as a high level of comfort for passengers. Uwe Bittroff, Head of Gangway Systems for Street Vehicles: “For the safe operation of high-capacity buses, a reliable steering system is essential to make these large vehicles safely maneuverable in urban traffic. Our steering technology has been designed so that in the event of a malfunction there is no danger for passengers or the surrounding area. With this innovation, we are offering a unique feature in this area. Until now, there is no other system for road vehicles that can control more than two axles to this degree and provide safe steering operation.”

Hübner’s steering system developed according to ISO 26262
The steering system is designed to the functional safety standards according to ISO 26262, it being offered with modular elements. This will make it possible for bus or train manufacturers to integrate it into vehicles on an individual basis. Through the use of pre-developed system components, individual vehicle concepts can also be flexibly integrated into the infrastructure of growing cities. In addition, the Hübner steering system can be used in bi-directional operation – and also has an interface for autonomous driving. This makes the Hübner steering system ready for future requirements in public mobility solutions.

Like a tram that runs on rubber wheels
Helge Förster, General Manager of the Hübner Group, explains the background of the development: “As a supplier of rail and bus manufacturers, we want to be thinking ahead in the public transport sector. Because one thing is clear: To reduce CO2 emissions and to make mobility more sustainable, we will be needing new mobility solutions – also in local transport. One possibility where we see great potential is high-capacity buses.”

“High-capacity buses look like trams running on rubber wheels and are particularly well-suited for cities that require large transport capacities in a short amount of time,” explains Dr. Stefanie Böge, Head of Mobility Road Development Projects. High-capacity buses consist of three vehicle segments with a total of six axles and two gangways, with a total length of over 30 meters. Current vehicle transport capacity is approximately 300 passengers. On this basis, the new vehicles combine the advantages of buses and trams.

High-capacity buses do not depend on a transport infrastructure with its own track system like classic streetcars. They provide the flexibility and versatility of buses. In addition, high-capacity buses – in direct comparison to rail-based transport – are more cost-efficient and can be deployed more quickly. They can be incorporated into a city’s existing street and road system. At the same time, high-capacity buses provide the same high level of comfort, safety and the sleek design of trams.