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Altair ProductDesign Selects Odyssey to Support the Fabrication of Transit Bus Technology Demonstrator

Altair’s BUSolutions program kicks off build of advanced bus design to lower transit authority operating costs and environmental impact TROY, Mich. – March 24, 2010 – In an effort to develop and commercialize an advanced bus platform that lowers the total cost of ownership and environmental impact of commercial buses, Altair ProductDesign moved one step closer today with the naming of Lake Orion, Mich.-based Odyssey Industries, Inc. as a fabrication partner for Altair’s BUSolutions program.

BUSolutions is a collaborative effort between public and private entities to research, develop and commercialize advanced transit bus systems that are significantly more fuel efficient, have lower operating and maintenance costs, are competitively priced and can operate without updating the infrastructure of existing transit authorities.

Additionally, the BUSolutions program includes industry-leading companies that will help to incorporate state-of-the-art components and technologies from the transportation sector. Program sponsors include Arvin Meritor, Hamilton Sundstrand, PRAN, Sika Corporation, Alcoa Howmet, Carrier Corporation, LAAD Industries, Pretoria Transit Interiors, Shaw Development, USSC Group and Williams Controls.

“We used an extensive evaluation process to assess potential fabrication partners in which we sought a Michigan-based company with the facilities, capabilities and experience to manage the fabrication of a 40-foot bus structure within the required timeline,” said Jeff Hopkins, BUSolutions design manager at Altair ProductDesign. “Of the candidates evaluated, Odyssey was the clear choice. We have great confidence in their abilities, highly skilled workforce and experience within the aerospace and automotive industries. ”

Altair is working closely with Odyssey to fabricate the first technology demonstrator bus. Fabrication of the bus body structure is currently underway at Odyssey and final assembly is slated to begin this summer at Altair.

“We are thrilled to be a partner in the BUSolutions program that is putting Michigan at the forefront of solving emerging public transit technology issues through innovation and collaboration,” said Gary Rymiszewski, vice president of manufacturing at Odyssey Incorporated. “We will leverage more than 20 years of experience in fabricating and finishing aerospace tooling and structures of all sizes to successfully fabricate the demonstrator buses.”

Once the build of the first technology demonstrator bus is complete, Altair will conduct testing to validate the reductions in fuel, maintenance and lifetime-operation costs. Any necessary improvements will be incorporated so the design is production ready, ensuring a smooth transition of the program into a commercialization phase.

Since BUSolutions launched in 2005, Altair has worked closely with local transit authorities, the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) and the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT), to ensure the newly designed bus platform will meet regulatory requirements and address the needs of bus drivers and riders. Altair also established the BUSolutions Advisory Board to offer insight into broader community needs, as well as perspective on actual ridership issues and public interface ergonomics. As a result, Altair ProductDesign successfully completed the bus structure engineering incorporating design principles that will enhance the rider experience.

About Altair BUSolutions
Launched in 2005, the Altair BUSolutions program was established to develop and commercialize an advanced bus platform that lowers the total cost of ownership and environmental impact of commercial buses without updating the infrastructure of existing transit authorities. Leveraging the company’s deep domain knowledge in vehicle systems and cutting edge simulation-driven design practices to establish design feasibility, Altair successfully partnered with Automation Alley, Michigan's largest technology business association, to secure federal funding to build working technology demonstrators for future commercialization. BUSolutions is administered by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and is locally supported by southeast Michigan congressional members, transportation industry partners, and local transit authorities, SMART and DDOT. For more information, visit www.altairproductdesign.com/CaseStudy_BUSolutions.aspx.

About Odyssey
Odyssey is a high-technology solutions provider that supplies leading companies within the manufacturing industry and global aerospace markets with the highest-quality total solution to product development. For more than 20 years, Odyssey has implemented strategically beneficial partnerships and teaming arrangements with other major manufacturing firms to provide cost-efficient, high-quality development of new and redesigned tooling and structural assemblies. For more information, visit www.odysseytooling.com.

About Altair ProductDesign
Altair ProductDesign is a global, multi-disciplinary product development consultancy of more than 500 designers, engineers, scientists, and creative thinkers. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Altair Engineering, Inc. (www.altair.com), this cross-functional organization is best known for its leadership in simulation-driven innovation. Altair ProductDesign firmly advocates a user-centered, team-based design approach and uses proprietary simulation and optimization technologies to help clients bring innovative, profitable products to market faster. To learn more, please visit www.altairproductdesign.com.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Ristic
Airfoil Public Relations, on behalf of Altair Engineering

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