ANA BELA NOGUEIRA
Source: Ana Bela Nogueira
Table of Contents
Busworld Europe, the world’s premier exhibition for the bus and coach industry, roared back to life in its 26th edition, held from October 7th to October 12th, 2023. After a four-year hiatus, the event returned to Brussels, Belgium, drawing a record-breaking crowd.
This year’s Busworld Europe proved to be a monumental success, covering an impressive 75.000 m2 of exhibition space with 7,8 km of aisles, where welcomed a staggering 40,120 visitors from 111 countries, 350 members of the press representing 44 countries, including Jornal Strada as Media Partner of Portugal.
In total, 526 exhibitors from 38 countries showcased their innovations, with a remarkable 182 being newcomers. The top participating countries included Turkey with 96 companies, Germany with 79 companies, and China with 61 companies.
Inside the exhibition halls, a total of 222 vehicles were on display, showcasing the latest advancements in bus and coach technology. Additionally, 29 vehicles were positioned outside for demonstrations, offering visitors a hands-on experience with the latest models and features.
Busworld Europe 2023 marked a triumphant return to the global stage, setting new records in terms of size, attendance, and exhibitors. It reaffirms the exhibition’s reputation as the go-to event for the bus and coach industry, and it once again delivered a platform for innovation, collaboration, and growth.
During the event, the 20th Busworld Vehicle Awards ceremony was held, recognizing the quality and technology of buses, with a strong focus on excellence in Safety, Ecology, Comfort and Design.
In the Bus category, the Grand Award Bus as well as the Label of Excellence COMFORT award went to the Mercedes-Benz eCitaro. The winner of the Label of Excellence DESIGN went to the VDL Bus & Coach Citea New Generation. The Label of Excellence ECOLOGY award went to the Ebusco 3.0 and finally the Anadolu Isuzu Citivolt won the Label of Excellence SAFETY award.
As for long-distance coaches, the overall winner of the Grand Award Coach was the Setra S 516HDH, which was competing against the Neoplan Tourliner L and the Van Hool T16 Astron. The winner of the Label of Excellence DESIGN and ECOLOGY award was the Yutong T15. O Label of Excellence COMFORT foi atribuído aos Setra S 516 HDH and Van Hool T16 Astron (ex aequo), e o Setra S 516 HDH também foi reconhecido como Label of Excellence SAFETY.
For the first time, Busworld organized and held the Digital Awards during the Digital Mobility Solutions Conference, which was also a first for Busworld.
Today, the world of buses and coaches cannot exist without all the digital solutions that contribute to be as safe, efficient and operational as possible. As such, these new awards are considered a completely necessary addition. According to Marc Vanhoutte, Director of the Busworld Awards, this addition was received very positively and shows a clear sign that Busworld is paying attention to digital transformations in the bus sector.
The Digital Awards were divided into 4 different categories. Digital On-Board Comfort’ comprises everything from new entertainment systems to Human Machine Interface (HMI) Solutions, that makes the voyage experience for passengers as well as drivers more enjoyable and comfortable.
The winner of this award was MAN Truck & Bus’ new Digital Cockpit with SmartSelect, an innovative operation, with full integration into the new electric platform and the latest ADAS systems, helping the driver to concentrate on his work without irrelevant distraction.
The Digital Operational Excellente award is very important when it comes to fleet management, combining efficiency and sustainability with telematics and other systems that cannot be omitted today in any sense. The winner was the “IVECO ON Heavy Buses Digital Services” from IVECO.
This service meets the needs of most PTAs and PTOs in terms of proactive maintenance and downtime reduction with specialized KPIs and trends available on online reports, as well as remote diagnosis and programming.
The protection against cyberattacks is another focus of the system. Multi-brand data management with the ‘agnostic’ telematics system is possible as well as the integration of third party apps, which was the biggest reason to vote for this all-encompassing telematics system.
A categoria Digitally Enhanced Driving is all about partially and fully autonomous vehicles and all the sub technologies and tools it requires to be able to perform. The winner was Karsan, the Turkish company that developed and produced the world’s first SAE Level 4 autonomous series production bus.
Together with the renowned partner ADASTEC, a software company, Karsan developed and implemented the software of the autonomous vehicle and the lidar and sensors applied on it together. The fully homologated midibus is already in operation since 2021 in the US and since 2022 in the EU (Norway), what makes it prizeworthy in a very tangible way. It could be test driven on the premises of Busworld Europe.
Last, but not least, the category ‘E-Mobility Management’ has been incorporated in the awards. Modern e-mobility is no longer about vehicles alone, but about whole systems to operate and charge a fleet of buses in a way that saves time and money.
The winner was ChargePoint/TWAICE, for their ‘Battery Health Package’. ChargePoint and TWAICE, as leaders in their fields of expertise teamed up to combine their unique strengths and bring a world’s first battery analytics solution that is seamlessly integrated in fleet management software to the market, independent from single OEM’s.
TWAICE brought their expertise in battery analytics, building on top of ChargePoints Data Hub, and jointly integrating it into the ChargePoint system for maximum customer value. The all-encompassing and OEM-agnostic approach to an absolute focus topic in electromobility and battery safety convinced the jury to the full.
Mieke Glorieux, Managing Director of Busworld Europe, thanked all the exhibitors, visitors and speakers for their loyal participation and guaranteed the return of Busworld Europe in 2025, which will be held from October 4 to 9, once again at Brussels Expo.