Hill aware speed control

RBM

Member
Hi folks,

I've been working on a hill aware speed control system for passenger cars. I was wondering if some of you could comment if it sounds interesting for trucking.

Basically, it's a cruise control that ties into your navigation system (phone or in-vehicle). You operate it the same way as cruise control. The system looks at the route you're driving, and determine how to change speed on hills. This way it knows how long each hill is, and if there are multiple hills (it doesn't just slow down when it hits a hill - it might be that there's a bigger hill coming and it's better to maintain speed). I've thought about adding automatic adjustment for road curvature and speed limits as well, and maybe a completely separate option that targets constant MPG instead of speed.

Do you think this would be useful? Other thoughts or opinions?

Thanks,
Richard
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Must work OK. It's in their new trucks and I haven't heard any complaints and you've never heard of it.


1st rule of small business; know your competition.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Freightliner's predictive cruise control will basically accelerate when you are approaching a hill to provide you more momentum, then it will back off the accelerator as you are approaching the crest of the hill to allow you to take advantage of the momentum. Pretty sure that the others have something exact or very similar in the works.

Seems to be working well for fuel economy in the fleet trucks where they want you to use your cruise all the time. It basically does what most owner operators who pay for their own fuel already know how to do with their foot.
 

RBM

Member
I've heard of it - I believe they're also working on a more advanced predictive powertrain too. Kenworth also has it. If there's someone that's used either, I'd like to know when it speeds up and slows down - marketing doesn't tell the whole picture. It sounds like at least with Kenworth, it is focussed on reducing speed at hill crests and neutral downhill (and Mike just responded confirming it about freightliner). If that's the case, it's similar to Bosch's solution (perhaps the same one). I think there's more efficiency you can get though.

Any ideas how feathering with your foot does in comparison to the predictive cruise control, and why aren't owner operators buying trucks with it (too little !/$?)?
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Because new trucks are almost cost prohibitive.

At a time when the independent is attempting to keep overhead as low as possible, picking up a monthly payment for new gadgets of $2700+ a month is ridiculous.

Couple that with the unreliability of new emissions, I'll really pass on it.
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Any ideas how feathering with your foot does in comparison to the predictive cruise control
The predictive cruise is supposed to be increasing fuel economy by a small percentage. Turning the cruise off and learning how to do it manually likely provides you with more gains if you take the time to learn what you are doing, at least right now as this technology is in its infancy.

when I was pricing trucks a year or so ago, I could only get the predictive cruise control with a 10 speed, as that is what more fleets use. Not available with a 13 speed at the time.
 

Injun

Rabid Squaw
Staff member
Supporter
I already have a five-point hill aware speed control: Eyes, brain, accelerator, engine brake, air brake.

I don't need or want a vehicle doing it for me.
 

RBM

Member
Ok, so it's ridiculously expensive. What if it was cheaper as a retrofit to your existing truck - say sub $500 and you could install it yourself in a few minutes?

Mike, when you were pricing up trucks were you interested in the predictive cruise control option even though you can manually drive better or did you just happened to notice what vehicles had it?

I don't need or want a vehicle doing it for me.
Ok, it's not for everyone.
 

Duck

Trump
Supporter
I've thought about adding automatic adjustment for road curvature and speed limits as well
That function would be bad. Like REALLY bad. Because as everyone is well aware, GPS cartography & routing is still plagued with errors. But dumber drivers don't seem to acknowledge that & they end up hitting bridges or attempting to make U-turns in the middle of a golf course or something.

Anything that's supposed to automatically reduce your speed for a curve in the road will cause complacency & the same idiots who blindly follow their GPS units onto a hiking path in a state park will end up rolling the truck or flying off the side of a hill when there's an error in the GPS cartography and it's unaware of the sharp curve approaching.

Same thing with speed limits. Small towns change their speed limits so often no GPS can keep up with it.
 

RBM

Member
Good, point, reminds me of an Office episode involving a lake, but with bigger consequences.

I could also use the tech to compare driven route data against what we calculated was better as a training/feedback tool for drivers. That might point out where drivers that want to drive better are dropping the ball, so they can improve. I know fleets have tools to do stuff like this, and there's a whole bunch of companies doing it in the passenger vehicle realm right now, tho they're looking mainly at hard braking and RPM control I believe, ignorant of the terrain. It might not be perfect, but it should make drivers aware of how much better they could be doing if they learned Injun's five-point system ;). Do you already have something like this?
 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Mike, when you were pricing up trucks were you interested in the predictive cruise control option even though you can manually drive better or did you just happened to notice what vehicles had it?
I wasn't really interested, but not against the idea either.
 

mndriver

curmudgeon extraordinare
Supporter
Not sure why this showed up in me e-mail again tonight.

Good place to share what the new Cummins engine is supposed to be doing with this feature.

I liked the part.....

" It's not doing anything drivers haven't been doing for years."

 

Mike

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Not sure why this showed up in me e-mail again tonight.

Good place to share what the new Cummins engine is supposed to be doing with this feature.

I liked the part.....

" It's not doing anything drivers haven't been doing for years."

I wouldn't mind having a truck with this technology at all, if it weren't for the emissions issues that unfortunately go along with them.

When Jim Park talked about backing off on the speed on an incline, I am sure that baffled many drivers, and totally went against their mentality of racing to the top and riding the brakes all the way down.
 

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