March 27, 2009 Daimler Trucks North America showcased an innovative "Predictive Cruise Control (PCC)" system in the "Freightliner New Innovation Truck" study at the Mid-America Trucking Show last week. The PCC assistance system uses map and satellite-based route previews and saves substantial amounts of fuel. Unlike a conventional cruise control system that tries to maintain a preset speed, regardless of how the terrain changes, the PCC system looks for its route a mile in advance and adjusts engine output to the uphill and downhill gradients ahead. Based on this information, the on-board computer calculates the optimum speed to use the momentum of the truck to maximize fuel economy.
A PCC-managed truck mimics the theory of "letting it roll over the brow of a hill" and "utilising peak momentum driving downhill".
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The fuel saving is achieved by adapting the preset cruise control speed without reducing the average speed. Because what the truck loses in terms of speed going uphill, is offset by the momentum going downhill. All of which saves a substantial amount of fuel. It will be available as an option from July 2009, marketed as RunSmart Predictive Cruise, in Freightliner Cascadia trucks with a 72-inch raised roof and DD15 engine.
The 3-D maps were commissioned by Daimler Trucks North America from NAVTEQ. NAVTEQ's 3-D maps cover more than 200,000 miles (approx. 350,000 km) of the roads most widely used by trucks in the 48 states in continental USA.