Mercedes-Benz is featuring a new cruise control system, the Predictive Power Control, on one of its newest vehicles, the Mercedes-Benz Actros. The Predictive Power Control is claimed to have the capability to cut fuel consumption by three percent by familiarizing the car with the topography of the road ahead and then regulating all elements involved to deliver the most suitable fuel efficiency adjustments.
The Predictive Power Control, the first GPS-based cruise control system, works when the driver is negotiating uphill or downhill. Predictive Power Control works by intervening to control speed and braking, as well as by regulating the transmission. It also works by inserting a certain single or double downshift of gear at an early stage, where appropriate. Predictive Power Control extends the use of the EcoRoll fuel-saving function, installed as standard on the Actros.
The Predictive Power Control was first developed three years ago as a GPS speed regulator for vehicles produced by Daimler Trucks, but without gearshift intervention. It was marketed as an option for Daimler Trucks’ Freightliner brand in the USA. It was also available in overseas markets under the name "Predictive Cruise Control," considered as the first cruise control system to be "farsighted."
Predictive Cruise Control combined geodetic data with Global Positioning System’s ability to determine a vehicle’s location to make "predictive" driving possible. Mercedes-Benz used this system as a basis for its Predictive Power Control, which adds road topography into consideration. With the Predictive Power Control at work, regulated long-distance haulage trucks like the new Actros 1845 BlueTec 6 could save as much as three percent of its fuel even when negotiating through moderately difficult topography.