Anticipating and responding to changes in terrain – such as accelerating ahead of hills and coasting on the decline – Peterbilt’s new Predictive Cruise technology automatically optimizes engine and transmission operation when in cruise control for maximum fuel economy, Peterbilt Motors Company announced during the Mid-America Trucking Show.
“Predictive Cruise technology is our latest innovation to provide customers with trucks that lead the industry in fuel efficiency,” says Darrin Siver, Peterbilt General Manager and PACCAR Vice President. “By integrating the powertrain, cruise control and satellite mapping, the vehicle automatically responds to the road ahead for up to three percent improved fuel economy.”
Predictive Cruise includes the neutral coasting feature. Neutral coasting utilizes the truck’s momentum to save fuel and engages the engine brake to manage downhill speeds.
According to Peterbilt Chief Engineer Scott Newhouse, Predictive Cruise and neutral coast work together in five steps to maximize the truck’s kinetic energy:
- When approaching a hill, the system uses on-board maps and GPS data to accelerate to the optimal speed and adjust for the increasing road grade;
- Before the peak of the incline, the vehicle curbs its speed before proceeding downhill;
- Neutral coast engages as the truck rolls downhill;
- If necessary, the engine brake engages to avoid over speeding; and
- Cruising speed is maintained as the vehicle continues onto level terrain.
“Predictive Cruise also integrates with Peterbilt’s Driver Performance Assistant, which coaches drivers with fuel-saving tips,” says Newhouse. “Predictive Cruise is available factory installed for both the Model 579 and 567 and plans are to expand to other products in the near future.”
Newhouse adds, “Predictive Cruise builds upon our lineup of fuel-saving solutions, such as the Driver Performance Assistant and the APEX powertrain. Through innovative technologies and optimized aerodynamic designs, Peterbilt continues to raise the bar for vehicles with outstanding ROI.”