Mercedes-Benz launches Predictive Powertrain Control system
With today's high fuel prices and increasingly stringent mileage requirements, every manufacturer is looking for a better way to help boost their overall economy numbers. For Mercedes-Benz, the latest innovation in this critical arena comes in the form of its new Predictive Powertrain Control system. According to the automaker, Predictive Powertrain Control is the first GPS-based cruise control system and uses that capability to actually read the topography of the road ahead. In addition to compensating for various uphill and downhill gradient changes by selective throttle and brake applications, it also can regulate operation of the transmission, performing single- or even double-shift actions when it deems necessary. Mercedes claims that its Actros trucks fitted with the Predictive Powertrain Control system can reduce fuel consumption by an additional three percent in long-distance hauls over "moderately difficult topography."
A first stage of development for this new driver assist saw Daimler Trucks introduce a GPS "speed regulator" without gearshift intervention in 2009 under the" Predictive Cruise Control" name. At the time, it was lauded as being the first such speed-regulation system to be so "farsighted" in its capabilities. This latest upgrading has made the package even more effective. Mercedes has yet to comment on the possibility of Predictive Cruise Control technology being adapted to its passenger car lines at some point in the future. However, all of the key hardware and electronic control elements necessary for that to happen appear to be in place.