Volvo Trucks has introduced a new version of I-See, technology that enables trucks to negotiate hills more fuel efficiently. The system handles gear selection, acceleration and engine braking on hills which, on long-haul assignments, can save as much as 5% of fuel.
I-See is a software system that works with the driveline and GPS using the truck's cruise control. When the truck approaches a hill the vehicle's speed increases so that it can drive longer in a higher gear. When the truck reaches the brow of the hill, the driveline is disengaged and the truck is allowed to freewheel to save energy.
With the new version, the first time any truck equipped with the technology (from whatever haulage company) drives on a hilly stretch of road, information about the local topography is stored in the truck and also transmitted to the Volvo Trucks server. When another truck with I-See encounters the same hills the system automatically receives the information on how to negotiate the terrain most fuel-efficiently.
Review: Green IT covers both efforts to green internal ICT operation and also using technology to help make the organisation as a whole more sustainable. Since ICT itself only accounts for 2-3% of global carbon emissions, this ‘greening by IT’ is far more important globally (as the SMARTer 2020 report points out).
Volvo’s I-See is a good example of a greening by IT, which is often simply a bringing together of various aspects of IT and communications. In this case it’s a layer of software on top of the trucks built-in technology combined with GPS and data downloaded wirelessly from a central server.
These innovations can either be an internal development or, as in this case, acquired from elsewhere. The main requirement is someone in the organisation that drives the implementation, which could come from the IT department or the central CSR organisation. Either way, it needs a champion and', ideally, a governance model that ensures effective implementation.
A 5% saving may not be much, but this is just one way that savings on transport can be achieved – if you search the blog you’ll find more.