Volvo has introduced new software and an upgrade to its D13 Euro 5 engine that it claims  could bring fuel savings of up to three per cent with the company claiming the new functions will help drivers save fuel even when cruise control is not activated

Volvo says that one new function called Volvo Torque Assist is intended to reduce fuel consumption by providing more efficient driving when the cruise control is disabled in long haul operations.

“There is no doubt that fuel efficiency is one of the most pressing issues in the transport industry today. Because of this, we want to maximise fuel saving measures, especially when cruise control is not applicable,” said Volvo Trucks Australia vice president of sales, Tony O’Connell. 

“I-See, our topography predictive cruise control, is still the best method for optimising fuel use, but it is not always suitable for all specific traffic and weather conditions and with Volvo Torque Assist we can still support drivers in such situations,” he said.

Volvo says Torque Assist is designed to provide more fuel-efficient driving by automatically adapting the truck’s torque and acceleration to the road topography, as well as load and speed changes. The company says the function is only active when driving without using cruise control as a complement to I-See.

Another supporting function keeps the amount of injected fuel constant after the engine’s

‘green range’ has been passed. The slightly compromised performance is compensated by improved fuel economy.

The pedal map has also been recalibrated. A less sensitive pedal creates a smoother torque development, which, in turn, makes the truck easier to control.

“Drivers that are less skilled in economical driving will benefit more than those who already have that driving style,” explains Tony O’Connell. “The new software also gives a significant result with heavy loads, many slope changes or large speed variations, while drivers transporting lighter loads with constant speed on flat roads will save less fuel. Our extensive global field tests have actually seen examples of larger potential for fuel savings, than the three per cent.”

The hardware upgrades in the Euro 6 Step D versions of the D13 engine, released earlier this year by Volvo Trucks globally, are also being used to raise the standards of Euro 5 engines. 

Volvo says internal friction has been reduced with new cylinder liners and new V-shaped oil scraper rings. The turbo efficiency has been improved and the engine management system is upgraded to a newer version with better computing capacity.

In all, these hardware upgrades save around one per cent fuel, while the fuel saving potential for the new software depends on driver experience, GCM and the operating conditions.

This, coupled with I-Cruise, Volvo’s intelligent cruise control which is standard in all FM and FH models for Long Haul applications could enable even greater savings the company said.