Things are looking up
Volvo’s I-see has almost human reactions to hills
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.
Visionary: I-See will improve engine and transmission efficiency