Louisville, Kentucky – Daimler Trucks North America has showcased its new Predictive Cruise Control (PCC), presented in the Freightliner New Innovation Truck concept at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Kentucky. The fuel-saving system, which Daimler said is a world premiere for the automotive industry, uses map- and satellite-based route previews, and was developed by Daimler Research engineers.
Unlike a conventional cruise control system, which tries to maintain a preset speed regardless of terrain changes, the PCC system “looks” for its route a mile in advance, and adjusts engine output to the uphill and downhill gradients ahead. Using the same algorithms the driver would have learned during a driver training course, the onboard computer calculates the optimum speed for fuel economy. The PCC-managed truck mimics the theory of “letting it roll over the brow of a hill,” and utilizing peak momentum when driving downhill. The fuel saving is achieved by adapting the preset cruise control speed without reducing the average speed, with speed loss going uphill offset by the momentum of going downhill, saving a substantial amount of fuel.
The new system will be available as an option from July 2009, under the name RunSmart Predictive Cruise, in certain Freightliner Cascadia trucks. The map system covers approximately 350,000 km of the roads most widely used by trucks in the 48 continental U.S. states.