May 23, 2011

MCI debuts new fleet monitoring technology



Motor Coach Industries (MCI) officially debuted the ACTIA Smart Power Multiplex System to on its 2011 MCI Commuter Coach at the American Public Transportation Association’s 2011 Bus & Paratransit Conference May 22 to 25 in Memphis, Tenn.

The ACTIA Multiplex system is now standard on all new MCI D-Series models equipped with 2010 engine technology.



State-of-the-art smart, the ACTIA Multiplex system is fourth-generation technology.

“There’s less complexity and more capabilities to maximize a coach’s performance over its entire lifetime,” said Ibrahem Abdalla, MCI electrical project engineer, whose team conducted the four-year research and development project to adapt the U.S. developed and produced technology already proven on American military vehicles.


“For example, ACTIA’s Power Management Module uses four modules, as opposed to the current MUX systems that use up to 13 modules," he added. "Its super-fast microprocessor speeds real-time data and includes more memory capacity for future expansion. Operators may also customize some functions to gain additional coach-related data.”

MCI D-Series models also feature a reconfigured, drive-centric dash to accommodate the new system. Updated with backlit multiplexed rocker switches and illuminated gauges, the dash offers drivers easy interfacing.  A new speedometer includes ACTIA’s message center with access to real-time information including trip mileage; warnings on functions ranging from fast idle to brake pad checks and powertrain fault codes. 

The ACTIA system also features a touchscreen LCD Diagnostic Display provides technicians with single-point access to inputs and outputs throughout the entire coach, making it simple to understand coach electrical information, powertrain fault codes and more.

“The system is designed to take more of the troubleshooting burden off the technician,” said Abdalla. “And, there are telemetric applications that allow operators with larger fleets to manage coaches remotely.”

ACTIA, based in Elkhart, Ind., is a supplier of vehicle electronics and diagnostic manufacturing.

MCI has already begun to deliver coaches featuring the new system. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) took delivery of 18 new MCI Commuter Coaches featuring ACTIA Multiplexing at the beginning of the year and is now operating them 14 hours a day on Maryland’s ICC, an 18.8-mile toll road linking Montgomery County to Prince George’s County.

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