Volvo Trucks is now introducing a new version of I-See in the Volvo FH that saves fuel when driving in hilly terrain.
The new version obtains up-to-date information about the road's topography remotely from a central server, so all trucks with I-See have access to the same fuel-saving information. "Your own truck need not have driven on a particular hill even once - it will still be able to reap the full benefit of the system's potential. It's enough that someone else with I-See has covered that stretch of road," says Christer Pehrsson, Business Area Manager for Long-Haul Operations, Volvo.
I-See can be likened to an autopilot that takes care of gear selection, acceleration and engine braking on hills in the most fuel-efficient way possible. The fuel saving for the long-haul assignment may be as much as five per cent. The first time a truck equipped with the new version of I-See drives on a hilly stretch of road, information about the local topography is transmitted wirelessly to the Volvo Trucks server and is therefore not only stored locally in the truck's memory, as it was in the previous version of I-See.
When another truck with I-See drives on the same road, the system automatically receives topography information from the server and makes sure gear-changes and acceleration and braking take place fuel-efficiently the very first time it gets to the road.
With the new version all trucks with I-See, irrespective of which haulage firm they work for, always have access to current, updated information about the gradients they come across. The information is based entirely on actual topographical conditions, not on maps that may become obsolete over time.
The first version of I-See was launched as one of many innovative functions in the new Volvo FH. Even before delivery of the first new trucks to customers, it is time for an upgraded version of the system to be launched.
"Our aim is to continuously develop our offer to create customer benefit, not least by utilising the possibilities available with wireless communication, says Christer Pehrsson. "The I-See offers fuel savings on small and big hills."
How I-See works
• I-See is a software system that works together with the driveline and GPS. It requires that the truck's cruise control is activated.
• I-See receives data about the topography of a forthcoming gradient from the Volvo Trucks server.
• When I-See registers that the truck is approaching an uphill gradient, the vehicle's speed increases.
• Thanks to kinetic energy the truck can drive longer in a higher gear and thus reduce the need for fuel-sapping down-changes.
• When the truck reaches the brow of the hill, I-See avoids unnecessary acceleration. Just before the start of the downhill gradient, the driveline is disengaged and the truck is allowed to freewheel to save energy.
• I-See starts gently applying the engine brake well before the slope comes to an end.
• When a downhill slope is immediately followed by an uphill gradient, the truck is allowed to freewheel to build up extra kinetic energy that is used to take it on the first part of the uphill stretch.