Volvo has developed a system that acts like an auto-pilot for commercial vehicles, taking over gearchanging and uses gradients to give a fuel saving of some five per cent.
The I-See system can harness the truck’s kinetic energy to “push” the vehicle up hills. On downhill gradients the same energy is used for acceleration.
Hayder Wokil, product manager at Volvo Trucks said: “I-See is an autopilot linked to the truck’s cruise control, taking over and handling gearchanges, throttle and brakes on gradients, ensuring they all operate in the most fuel-efficient way possible. I-See freewheels as much as possible – so on certain stretches of road no fuel is used at all.
“In this way fuel consumption can be cut by up to five per cent. This figure is based on the results of simulations and tests on public roads. I-See requires use of the cruise control, and we know that on average drivers use cruise control about half the time.
“For a truck in normal operation, covering 140,000 kilometres a year, the saving will be about 1,000 litres of fuel annually. This makes a big difference to the haulage firm’s profitability,” says Wokil