Mack launches fuel-saving, predictive cruise control

Mack Trucks has introduced Mack Predictive Cruise, a fuel-saving offering in Mack’s full suite of integrated products.

Mack Predictive Cruise is an intelligent system that memorizes a route when cruise control is on, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory. The next time the driver travels the route, Mack Predictive Cruise engages the industry-leading Mack mDRIVE automated manual transmission to choose the most fuel-efficient gear.

“As a pioneer in integration in the trucking industry, Mack has consistently introduced new systems to better manage fuel consumption,” said Dennis Slagle, president of Mack Trucks.

mDRIVE already offers customers increased fuel efficiency and reduced driver fatigue. Mack Predictive Cruise is the next step in the evolution, adding another dimension of intelligence.”

Mack Predictive Cruise constantly monitors speed, engine load, weight and the road gradient in order to select the best gear for the road ahead.  When approaching an incline, Predictive Cruise allows slightly more speed. mDRIVE then maintains the highest gear possible instead of downshifting, remaining in that gear and preventing downshifts if they are not needed to crest the hill. Maintaining the highest gear possible is more fuel efficient.

Mack Predictive Cruise can increase fuel efficiency by up to 1 percent 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.

When traveling downhill, Mack Predictive Cruise maintains 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 hill.

“Mack Predictive Cruise offers the most benefit in highway applications and on hilly terrain, when fuel is often wasted,” said Stu Russoli, Mack highway and powertrain products marketing manager. “A driver may select to downshift because he or she may not be sure if the truck will make the grade, but Predictive Cruise has already stored the hill in its memory and has planned the best strategy for optimal fuel economy.”