By Tatiana Chumakova
Buses with ‘intelligent’ electric systems being produced in Belarus this year
“Via the control panel, drivers can view data on vehicle problems. Moreover, it will be impossible for passengers to trap their hand, leg or bags in the doors, since they won’t close if obstacles are sensed. The option will be automatically regulated, rather than overseen by the driver,” explains the Head of Auto-tractor Electronics and Electrical Mechanics at the National Academy of Sciences’ Joint Institute for Machine Building, Mikhail Belous.
The production of smart buses in Belarus is the result of a complex information-managing system, developed by the Institute’s scientists. According to Mr. Belous, the usual electric bus cables (up to 4.5km in length) are no longer needed, saving non-ferrous metals (up to several dozen kilos per vehicle). Additionally, the new system significantly reduces time and labour costs for assembly, with vehicles expected to remain operational for at least ten years. It took about three years for Belarusian scientists to develop the complex system.
This year, Minsk Automobile Works plans to manufacture 50 buses using the new system: for city and inter-city routes. In 2010, the plant produced three samples. According to Mr. Belous, the system is moderately priced while significantly saving money and time on manufacturing.
Last year, the MAZ-205 smart bus participated in international exhibitions in Belgium and Russia, returning to Minsk under its own power. Afterwards, it successfully passed certification tests in Ukraine and Russia. “No remarks on the system’s operation have been made,” notes the scientist. The Joint Institute for Machine Building is now working on further modifying several MAZ bus models.