Traxen, a metro Detroit-based technology, launched its intelligent adaptive cruise control system, iQ-Cruise, for traditional and electric commercial vehicles. The system will be available to both commercial vehicle aftermarket and OE customers.
Through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), advanced algorithms and sensors, iQ-Cruise can reduce fuel consumption by an average of 10% while improving safety, drivability and profit margins, according to the company.
As the world inches toward autonomous vehicles, Traxen recognized that it will not happen in a single step, choosing to tackle autonomous driving in phases beginning with speed control. Through proprietary hardware and software, iQ-Cruise monitors road conditions such as changes in elevation, curvature, traffic patterns and weather miles beyond the driver’s visual field.
Additionally, driver’s hours of service and time of arrival needs are taken into account. Because the technology intuitively and efficiently controls the speed of the vehicle based on various factors, the driver is primarily responsible for steering, helping to reduce driver error, fatigue and turnover. Drivers remain engaged in steering and informed through non-intrusive alerts via Traxen’s modern driver-friendly interface.
Traxen conducted its first side-by-side cross-country trial in August 2020. This test was conducted over the road starting from Plymouth, Michigan, to Las Vegas and back, during which iQ-Cruise significantly bested seasoned truck drivers by executing far more energy-efficient speed controls. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency (NACFE) was the independent reviewer of this field trial.
Fuel is a very large expense for long-haul trucking fleets with lowering costs and subsequent emissions reductions being top priorities. In our analysis of Traxen’s cross country real-world field trial data, we observed fuel efficiency improvements in the range of 2% to 20% in various segments over a 6,100-mile cross-country drive. The average fuel efficiency improvement was 7%, which is very substantial and meaningful for the industry. We hope to see technologies like the iQ-Cruise deployed across the industry to improve freight efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Real world testing of fuel economy features is very challenging, with many variables at play including wind speed and direction, elevation, payload changes and driver variations. The best practice is to combine all forms of analysis and testing to understand how a technology will perform for fleets.—Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE
Traxen continues to retrain and enhance its AI-based iQ-Cruise performance. With the latest release of its software, iQ-Cruise is recording 10% fuel efficiency improvement on customer routes. The company predicts that by 2023, based on systemic learnings from 700 million miles of data obtained from customer drives, Traxen will top 15% in fuel efficiency gains.
In addition to delivering value through significant cost-savings on fuel and increased driver satisfaction, brake and tire wear, maintenance, insurance and training costs also can be reduced thanks to the system's advanced features.
Traxen’s fuel-saving solution is currently being piloted by several fleet customers and will be available to commercial vehicle aftermarket customers in the first quarter of 2021, followed by OE truck manufacturers shortly afterward.