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Freewheeling and Gravity =5% fuel economy improvement-How to save fuel

Volvo Truck's I-See Cruise Control
Posted June 27 2012 12:06 PM by jason.thompson 
Filed under: Diesel Trucks, Tech Tips

How to save fuel

Even if you never use I-See you can train yourself to be almost as efficient by following the rules of the computer (from press release below).

" Kinetic energy is the mechanical work needed to reduce an object's speed to zero. When an object in motion is slowed down, its kinetic energy has to be transformed into some other form of energy. When a vehicle brakes, its kinetic energy is converted into heat. Many manufacturers in the automotive world are now examining solutions for harnessing kinetic energy instead of releasing it as surplus heat."   

Kinetic energy can save 5 per cent

I-See is linked to the transmission's tilt sensor and obtains information about the topography digitally. The fact that the system is not dependent on maps makes it more dependable since it always obtains the very latest information. I-See can recall about 4000 gradients, corresponding to a distance of 5000 kilometres.

"I-See is an autopilot linked to the truck's cruise control, taking over and handling gearchanges, throttle and brakes on gradients, ensuring they all operate in the most fuel-efficient way possible. I-See freewheels as much as possible - so on certain stretches of road no fuel is used at all," explains Hayder Wokil, product manager at Volvo Trucks.


I-See has functions for six different scenarios on a gradient:

  • It accelerates before the incline starts.
  • If you are near the brow of a hill, the system avoids changing gear if possible. Every gearchange means a drop in speed.
  • It does not accelerate when approaching a descent, but instead waits and utilises gravity.
  • It starts freewheeling ahead of an approaching descent.
  • It starts braking well before the downhill slope ends, but:
  • It releases the brakes at the end of the slope to pick up speed ahead of a new ascent.

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