Stagecoach is to roll out Optibus artificial intelligence software to help it to “plan the bus networks of tomorrow” as it leaves the COVID-19 pandemic. The platform will allow the group to deliver the most efficient timetables and rosters that will result in passenger-friendly frequencies and reliability, and allow buses to be planned more effectively.
Optibus technology will also help Stagecoach to roll out battery-electric vehicles more rapidly. It will ensure that factors such as charging locations and times are factored into schedules. Stagecoach is targeting a zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.
Optibus’s rapid scenario creation will allow Stagecoach planners to identify options for the most efficient and effective delivery of routes and timetables. They will also be able to quickly see the impact of changes.
Pilots will begin later in 2021. The Optibus platform will then be rolled out in a phased manner across Stagecoach’s regional operations.
“This major investment will give our planning teams the latest cutting-edge technology to help ensure that timetables can be planned faster and more easily,” says Stagecoach UK Managing Director Carla Stockton-Jones. In February, she told routeone that innovation would be key as the group puts COVID-19 behind it.
“We are confident that as we come out of the pandemic, this new platform will help us to plan the networks of the future and to ensure that buses continue to play a key part in the country’s recovery.”
Optibus CEO and Co-Founder Amos Haggiag adds: “The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clearer than ever that cities and public transport providers must be flexible and innovative to be able to adapt rapidly and reach informed, data-driven decisions that best serve residents’ changing travel needs.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with Britain’s biggest bus operator to power a pandemic recovery that puts passenger needs at the forefront while transitioning to a zero-emission fleet.”