Volvo's Innovative Software Puts Trucks On Auto-Pilot

Volvo has developed an innovative way to cut fuel use in trucks, basically by running them on auto-pilot.

Their "I-See" software can reduce fuel consumption for long-distance transport by about 5%.     

When a truck equipped with I-See first drives on a hilly road, the software stores topography information for the next trip, and a wireless dispatch is conveyed to a central server.

Then, when a different truck equipped with I-See is about to drive the same stretch, the system automatically gets the information from the server and ensures the truck optimizes how it drives over the same hills.    

"I-See uses the vehicle’s kinetic energy to accelerate at the right   time prior to the ascent to reduce the number of downshifts, while   disengaging the vehicle just before reaching the brow of the hill and  utilizes the energy perfectly for braking down the next hill," explains  Anders Eriksson, who heads the development group.  

Volvo Trucks has also reduced the energy intensity of North America operations by 30%.

GM Invests in Efficient Engines

In related news, GM announced it will invest $332 million in more fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

Spread across four manufacturing plants, the investment will be put toward building a new Ecotec engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission system, and a V6 engine, all more efficient and better performing. 

Last month, GM CEO Dan Akerson said vehicles built through 2017 would use 12 billion gallons less fuel over their lifecycles through greater efficiency, such as lightweighting vehicles.


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