Although transport truck drivers routinely shift gears when going up or down hills, those hills can sometimes sneak up on them. Using Daimler’s GPS-enabled Predictive Power Control, however, the new Mercedes-Benz Actros tractor unit will now be able to see those hills coming. This will allow it to automatically change gears before the going gets tough, resulting in fuel savings of up to three percent over moderately difficult topography.
In 2009, Daimler introduced a system known as Predictive Cruise Control, on its Freightliner trucks in the U.S. This uses GPS data to control the vehicle’s speed and braking functions for maximum efficiency, given its present geographical location. Predictive Power Control is built on this system, but uses its knowledge of the road ahead to also preemptively downshift the Actros by one or two gears.
According to Daimler, the system’s performance “could only be matched by an extremely motivated truck driver with an exceptional level of concentration.”