I-See saves fuel

I-See comes with a bank of fuel savings

Since its initial launch I-See has already taken another leap forwards in the bid to save fuel. It continues to use information about road topology to optimise fuel efficiency, but now it stores and retrieves the valuable data in its very own cloud. And the I-See database will soon have all the statistics a truck could need – as it will be shared and developed by every I-See vehicle.

Information about the gradient of the road is used by I-See to manage the truck’s speed and gears in the most fuel efficient way. This takes advantage of kinetic energy and saves up to 5 percent fuel when activated. The biggest savings are made on gentle slopes, but I-See saves fuel on all sorts of gradients. On a typical hill this happens in 6 different phases:

It begins by building up speed to climb as far as possible in the highest gear. When approaching the crown of the hill it avoids changing to a lower gear – using kinetic energy to take it over the top. Once the top has been reached it lets the speed drop a little in anticipation of the downhill. Then it begins coasting down the hill in neutral. Next it begins to use engine braking to limit the speed. And towards the bottom of the hill the truck is allowed to coast in neutral once again – to build up speed for the next climb.

To keep the vehicle updated on the hills ahead, I-See uses GPRS technology/3G to download the data needed for the closest hills in your driving direction. If the truck approaches a hill which is not yet in the database, it will record and save the necessary data to its working memory. The information is then automatically uploaded to the I-See database so that it is available for the next I-See user. In this way it’s possible for each truck to achieve maximum fuel savings from its first assignment in any given area.

Every drop counts

Even without an active SIM card, I-See is capable of saving fuel in the same way for all of the hills stored in its working memory. And as it saves the 3500 most prioritized hills based on fuel savings and driving frequency, most trucks running regular routes will be able to achieve maximum fuel savings as soon as each maiden voyage has been completed.

I-See is able to optimise fuel efficiency by working hand in hand with both the I-Shift transmission and the engine. The truck’s communication platform, Telematic Gateway, is responsible for passing on the gradient data between the truck and the I-See database. Anders Eriksson, the developer of I-See at Volvo Trucks, explains: “Because it knows the gradients of the road ahead it can tell the engine and I-Shift transmission what to do to take maximum advantage of the kinetic energy. In this way I-See mimics the driving patterns of a good driver. But even the best driver can’t keep this up for hours on end.”

I-See is available with Euro 5 and Euro 6 drivelines and all vehicles ordered with I-See will have the extended functionality of the I-See database, which means there will soon be access to untold fuel savings for Volvo customers. Or as Anders Eriksson says: “Major roads should be mapped just weeks or even days after launch. So every truck with I-See can start saving fuel without delay.’’