The Idaho National Laboratory has developed a system for buses that will not only change how their drivers operate but could impact the entire busing industry.
Jeff Brown, Bus Operations Manager for the Idaho National Laboratory, says the system aims to solve a widespread problem for bus drivers, idling and wasting fuel while trying to keep the temperature of the bus at a comfortable level for passengers.
"While the diesel fired motor is off, this system will totally run and keep the coach cool," Jeff Brown, Bus Operations Manager for the Idaho National Laboratory told BYU-Idaho. "As the coach is stopped, it will keep the coach at a comfortable level."
Brown says bus idling causes several problems beyond the economic losses of fuel spent in the idling process. Idling buses like that wear the engine and other parts out faster and some cities also enact strict idling laws, which means a bus driver may have to drive upwards of 50 miles away just to keep the temperature cool enough for passengers or tourists they're waiting to pick up.
Now, thanks to the project Brown and several others worked on with the Bergstrom Inc., that extra expense and time may be nearing the end of its days.
"My hope is that we can get the price down," Brown said. "We can streamline it, get the price down to where the average coach owner can afford this and add this onto their bus to keep their passengers, their drivers comfortable while they're waiting. This is a win-win thing."
There is no current timetable for when this concept would hit the market as the project is currently in proof of concept.
You can listen to the full interview below.