Things are look­ing up

Volvo’s I-see has al­most hu­man re­ac­tions to hills

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

TRUCKS will soon be able to think like hu­man driv­ers when tack­ling hills.

That’s the idea be­hind a Volvo sys­tem that should be re­leased in Europe next year.

It’s called I-See and Volvo de­scribes it as a kind of au­topi­lot sys­tem that col­lects gra­di­ent data to bet­ter man­age how the truck’s engine and trans­mis­sion work un­der hilly con­di­tions.

Reg­u­lar cruise con­trol sys­tems can’t an­tic­i­pate hills and don’t take gra­di­ent into ac­count. This means the truck’s engine con­trol sys­tem will keep ac­cel­er­at­ing all the way to the top of a hill and then dial back the throt­tle and bring on the engine brake on de­scent.

In con­trast, a driver can see the top of the hill and can ease off when ap­proach­ing the top of the hill to avoid wast­ing fuel.

Volvo en­gi­neers have de­vel­oped a sys­tem that uses topo­graph­i­cal data to con­trol the way the engine and au­to­mated trans­mis­sion work.

The com­pany says the I-See sys­tem an­tic­i­pates a hill and feeds on more throt­tle and ac­tu­ally ac­cel­er­ates (within the speed limit) through the lower sec­tion of the hill. Then the sys­tem avoids chang­ing down gears in or­der to save fuel.

The third stage in­cludes curb­ing the speed by eas­ing off the ac­cel­er­a­tor as the truck nears the crest.

I-See then di­rects the trans­mis­sion to se­lect neu­tral and builds up speed us­ing very lit­tle fuel. The sys­tem may also pick a gear and bring in engine brak­ing at the mid-point of a de­scent or stay in neu­tral.

‘‘ In this way fuel con­sump­tion can be cut by up to 5 per cent,’’ Volvo Trucks prod­uct man­ager Hay­der Wokil says.

James Stan­ford

Visionary: I-See will im­prove engine and trans­mis­sion ef­fi­ciency

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