Volvo Trucks North America plans a U.S. roll out of technology that memorizes a driver’s route and then manages how the vehicle operates in order to increase fuel efficiency.
The software, Volvo I-See, stores information about thousands of routes. The data is then used to keep the truck in the most fuel-efficient gear possible the next time it drives a familiar road.
When cruise control is activated, the system records the topography of the route, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory, the truck company said. I-See will recognize the route on future trips and work in tandem with the Volvo I-Shift automated manual transmission to choose the optimal gear.
“The integration between the transmission and the engine is critical to getting the best performance and efficiency possible,” said John Moore, a Volvo product marketing manager. “Drivers are now going to get more power for less fuel spent.”
The system saves up to 5 percent fuel when activated, Volvo said. It’s been available in Europe but not in the U.S.
The technology is specifically designed to climb hills in a way that optimizes fuel efficiency.
It does this by monitoring the vehicle’s speed, weight and engine load, and by working with Volvo’s semi-automatic transmission to prepare for upcoming inclines and to help the truck manage its speed over the hill.
It keeps the truck in a higher gear for better power and performance, while avoiding unnecessary downshifts, which can waste fuel, Volvo said.
When I-See recognizes an upcoming hill, the truck accelerates to gain momentum. Once on top, the truck’s speed is curbed and it rolls in neutral, saving energy.
As the truck gains speed going downhill, the system automatically applies the brakes to keep it under control. The vehicle then rolls off the hill in neutral gear, building up its speed again.
Check out the video below to see it in action: