Renamed Company Offering Fuel-Saving Capabilities
For Commercial and Government Fleets Using All Fuels
Lightning Systems has re-branded, adding capabilities taking the Colorado company far beyond the fuel-saving hydraulic hybrid to services for all fleets and fuels, and moving its corporate headquarters.
The company’s hydraulic hybrid drive, formerly promoted as ERS (for energy recovery system), is now dubbed LightningHybrids. Employing pneumatics/compressed air in lieu of batteries, the drive makes for 50% emissions reductions and up to 25% fuel savings for urban drive cycles.
Also at ACT Expo 2017 held earlier this month in Long Beach, Calif., the newly named Lightning Systems released details on its cloud-based LightningAnalytics, which it says provides “unrivaled understanding and optimization of fleet vehicle efficiency, drive cycles and routes, driver behavior, and vehicle maintenance.
Autumn of This Year for Standalone LightningAnalytics
“The system is available now with the LightningHybrids system, and will be available standalone in fall 2017,” the company said.
“The new name, Lightning Systems, and our rollout of new products reflects our company’s vision: To be a global leader in efficiency and emissions improvement solutions for fleets of medium and heavy duty commercial vehicles,” Lightning Systems CEO Tim Reeser said in his company’s ACT Expo announcement.
“We are rolling out a full portfolio of products to help fleet operations be as efficient as possible, validate those results with precise analytical information, and help realize a fast return on investment.”
A Ford eQVM
Lightning notes that its LightningSystems drive is available now for more than 25 medium and heavy duty commercial vehicle platforms including delivery trucks, shuttle and paratransit buses, refuse trucks, and rear-engine transit buses.
Its use of hydraulic hybrid technology notwithstanding, Lightning was highlighted by Ford as the automaker established its new eQVM (qualified vehicle modifier, electric) program earlier this year (F&F, March 15).
The company pledged in Long Beach to introduce “a variety” of fuel efficiency and emissions improvement innovations over the next two years, and said that they all “will leverage the LightningAnalytics system to validate efficiency results for fleets and will be available as either a retrofit for existing vehicles or for new vehicles from Lightning’s network of distributors and upfitters.”
Recording and Analysis
The analytics system takes into account, drive cycles and routes, driver behavior, and vehicle health. “This is achieved through high-frequency recording of many real-time parameters from the vehicle,” Lightning says, “followed by expert data analysis, resulting in reports that provide insights and actionable recommendations for fleets.”
“LightningAnalytics tracks a fleet’s vehicles every second, recording up to 70 variables during that second,” Reeser said. “It records everything from acceleration rates, braking events, and ABS and traction-control events, to miles per gallon, idle time, and vehicle health.
“But the real key,” he said, “is the way the data is processed and then provided to fleet operators. Our team of fleet data scientists uses advanced analytics and formulas to reduce the data to useful information and present automated, as well as in-person, reports to fleet operators that give specific and actionable ways to optimize fleet operations for peak efficiency, often identifying problems and providing a solution preemptively.”
LightningAnalytics, the company says, can
- help reduce fuel usage by allowing operators to understand which vehicles/drivers/routes to focus training and optimization efforts on;
- track routes via GPS and optimize vehicles’ routes for better fuel economy and safety;
- monitor vehicle health with real-time alerts; and
- track driver behavior to control aggressive driving and minimize idling.
LightningAnalytics is secure, Lightning says, as “All connections are password protected and encrypted.” The system is compatible with most vehicles and as such can be deployed fleet-wide.
Far Beyond the Hydraulic Hybrid
The system is available now to existing LightningHybrids hydraulic hybrid driveline customers, and will be available as a standalone product for commercial and government fleets that operate diesel, gasoline, hybrid, CNG/compressed natural gas, and full-electric powertrain systems. (F&F emphasis)
“The subscription-based service is currently free to fleets operating the LightningHybrids energy recovery system and has been used by more than 30 fleets on 200 vehicles around the world for the last 12 months,” the company says.
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Source: Lightning Systems with Fleets & Fuels follow-up