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Large City Buses with Allison’s Fully Automatic Transmissions Support Everyday Transportation in the Kyushu Region

Medium-sized buses with Allison Automatics to join the operation in the next fiscal year.

Large City Buses with Allison’s Fully Automatic Transmissions Support Everyday Transportation in the Kyushu Region

Allison Transmission Japan, the Japanese subsidiary of Allison Transmission, a leading designer and manufacturer of conventional and electrified vehicle propulsion solutions and the largest global manufacturer of medium- and heavy-duty fully automatic transmissions for commercial and defense vehicles has announced that since JR Kyushu Bus’s adoption of large city buses equipped with the Allison Torqmatic Series™ automatic transmissions in 2014, these buses have been critically acclaimed for their powerful traveling performance, fuel efficiency and the reliability of their maintenance systems. The company also announced that medium-sized city buses powered by Allison fully automatic transmissions will begin service next fiscal year.

JR Kyushu city buses run throughout Fukuoka, Nagasaki, Saga and Kagoshima, with many routes starting in highly congested urban areas. Most of the buses then travel outside the city and into rugged mountain terrain with sloped roads. The buses that the company first deployed were equipped with 8-liter engines, then they later downsized to 5-liter engines, those with fully automatic transmissions powered by Allison torque converters demonstrated their true worth.

“When we put downsized engines into large buses of about the same weight as the previous buses, I was worried that traveling performance might suffer. However, thanks to the Allison fully automatic transmissions, the more powerful torque enabled the buses to climb steep inclines with confidence even in the lower RPM range. All of our drivers were uniformly amazed,” said Tsuyoshi Moribe, Executive Managing Director at JR Kyushu Bus. “What’s more, the onboard computer learns the buses’ traveling patterns as the buses travel around, and the drivers were clearly surprised at how quickly it learned. Since different drivers operate different buses every day, the new transmissions have allowed us to lessen shift interrupts and achieve a consistently comfortable ride regardless of driver skill.”

JR Kyushu’s city buses play an important role in people’s lives taking them to destinations. Safe driving is paramount, and because it is so important to minimize shift interrupts as much as possible when changing gears, driver skill is essential. Shifting at the wrong time could cause passengers to fall over. Buses with Allison fully automatic transmissions automatically control gear change timing via the onboard computer, which ensures smooth gear changes regardless of driver skill and gets passengers to their destinations in comfort. Additionally, without the need to focus on changing gears, drivers can concentrate on driving safely.

According to data compiled by JR Kyushu Bus, buses with Allison Automatics achieve a 0.5 km/liter better fuel efficiency per bus when compared to the same buses using semi-automatic transmissions. The company’s fleet of six fully automatic transmission-equipped buses save an annual total of 3,240 liters of fuel, significantly reducing costs. Furthermore, manual transmission vehicles need replacement of the clutch, which incurs maintenance costs and time. However, the prognostic function, one of the features of Allison's fully automatic transmissions, monitors the condition of the transmission itself, as well as the transmission fluid and filter, displaying status indicators and replacement times on the shift selector, thus helping to reduce unexpected failures and vehicle downtime. Allison Japan also provides a robust service network, Chikuho Seisakusho Co., Ltd., an official direct dealer of Allison Japan with a facility for performing engine overhauls, handles after-sales service for the Kyushu region.

The Allison Torqmatic Series is enjoying nationwide adoption, with Isuzu and Hino deploying the model in their medium-sized city buses in August 2020. Next fiscal year, JR Kyushu Bus will also begin replacing the 18 mid-sized fixed-route buses in its fleet with mid-sized buses powered by Allison fully automatic transmissions.

Allison is currently the market leader in automatic transmissions for large city buses in Japan. With outstanding products and after-sales service, Allison will leverage its expertise to ensure reliable and comfortable fixed-route bus service, which serves as an important means of transportation for city inhabitants.

www.allisontransmission.com

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