Mack Trucks has made its Predictive Cruise Control with Econo-Roll standard on Mack Anthem and Mack Pinnacle models.
According to the manufacturer, Mack Predictive Cruise combines the Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission (AMT) with GPS, monitoring driver speed, engine load, and road topography, memorizing those conditions when cruise control is set. The next time the driver travels the same route, Mack Predictive Cruise will communicate to the transmission to ensure the optimal gear for fuel efficiency is chosen.
“Predictive Cruise is truly an engineering feat as it uses the knowledge gained from past routes to automatically adjust speed and torque when the route is again driven,” said Stu Russoli, highway product manager at Mack. “The system can store up to 4,500 routes, offers maximum fuel efficiency and improves total cost of ownership for customers.”
Mack Predictive Cruise can increase fuel efficiency by up to 1%, Mack stated in the release, and does not require a constant GPS connection. After a short connection to GPS, Mack Predictive Cruise recognizes the hill, sends the communication to mDRIVE, which automatically knows the optimal speed and gear strategy for the upcoming terrain.
Mack Predictive Cruise operates by constantly monitoring speed, engine load, weight, and the road gradient in order to select the best gear for the road ahead. When approaching a hill, Predictive Cruise allows slightly more speed. The mDRIVE AMT then maintains the highest gear possible, remaining in that gear and preventing downshifts if unnecessary to crest the hill. Econo-Roll, which temporarily disengages the driveline before the downhill descent, allows the truck to roll, reducing fuel consumption.
When traveling downhill, Mack Predictive Cruise works to maintain vehicle speed, utilizing kinetic energy and softly applying the engine brake. Because the hill is stored in the vehicle’s memory, Predictive Cruise recognizes it and knows when the gradient will even out, allowing the truck to maintain its speed for the next incline.