LOUISVILLE. A predictive cruise control that can anticipate changes in road grades is among the market-ready technologies highlighted by the Innovation Truck concept tractor on view at the Daimler Truck North America booth here at the Mid-America Trucking Show.
The proprietary system, called RunSmart Predictive Cruise, analyzes road profiles more than a mile ahead to determine optimum vehicle speed. It is now available as an option on the 72-in. raised roof sleeper version of the Freightliner Cascadia with a Detroit Diesel DD15 engine.
The system combines active cruise control with GPS and 3D digital map technology from Navteq, automatically adjusting vehicle speed for maximum fuel efficiency based on road grades while staying within 6% of the cruise control’s set speed. It draws on digital map slope data for more than 200,000 mi. of truck routes in the U.S.
The Innovation Truck, painted completely flat black, is an engineering project intended to show users DTNA’s newest near-term technologies, as well as to gauge customer interest in concepts and advanced features, according to Elmar Boeckenhoff, sr. vp of engineering and technology.
Among the highlights of the concept truck, which is based on the Cascadia, are a number of aerodynamic refinements that start with a bumper and “air splitter” designed to reduce air flow turbulence under and around the truck. Side panels and a modified roof fairing also contribute, as do radically designed rear wheel fairings that almost completely enclose the tandem wheels.
The truck also includes a new idling control HVAC system that is being released commercially as a factory-installed option for the Cascadia. The ParkSmart HVAC is fully integrated into the sleeper, using the vehicle’s alternator and engine coolant when the truck is under way. When the engine is shut off, the system’s four batteries can run an electrically-driven AC compressor up to 10 hours, while a diesel-fired coolant heater provides heat to the sleeper compartment and acts as a block heater. Unlike the commercially-available version, the Innovation Truck’s ParkSmart also incorporates a fuel-cell that can provide electrical power to the system for up to 34 hours.
Other advanced technologies on the truck not yet ready for commercial applications include a dual ride-height system that automatically lowers the tractor at highway speeds for reduced drag, BluTec SCR emissions technology that will be used by DTNA to meet the 2010 emissions regulations, and side cameras in place of rear-view mirrors that reduce drag while eliminating blind spots.