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New development

Anders Eriksson photoThe truck industry is searching high and low for solutions that cut fuel consumption.

One method is to use the vehicle’s kinetic energy to propel the truck and now Volvo Trucks has developed I-See, which operates like an autopilot and takes over gear-changing and utilises gradients to save fuel.

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.

“If kinetic energy can be exploited to a greater extent, it may help cut fuel consumption. This will benefit both the environment and the industry’s economy, something that is very important today as fuel costs are becoming an increasingly heavy burden on many haulage firms,” relates Anders Eriksson, product developer at Volvo Trucks.

And it is precisely this that Volvo Trucks has succeeded in developing with its new I-See solution. The system harnesses the truck’s own kinetic energy to ‘push’ the vehicle up hills and on downhill gradients the same energy is used for acceleration.