Predictive Cruise Control uses GPS to predict hilly terrain ahead. Image via Kenworth

Predictive Cruise Control uses GPS to predict hilly terrain ahead. Image via Kenworth

CORRECTED — Kenworth's Predictive Cruise Control is optional on Kenworth T680s and T880s with Paccar MX-13 engines. The feature is one of several driver assistance systems designed to improve efficiency.

The system combines cruise control with GPS information to intelligently monitor speed and improve fuel economy. The system can anticipate hilly terrain and adjust to ensure the engine and transmission are operating in the most efficient mode.

The company is showcasing Predictive Cruise Control and three other technologies all designed to improve fuel economy by influencing driving behavior. The other systems are Driver Shift Aid, Driver Performance Assistant and Driver Rewards.

Driver Shift Aid provides drivers with a shift-now light, telling a driver when to shift. The system is available on Kenworth models using the Paccar MX-13 engine with manual transmissions. The tool is designed to optimize shifts and fuel economy based on engine speed. The system can even recommend skip or split shifting if the situation calls for it.

The Driver Performance Assistant is a virtual driver’s coach that analyzes how a driver is coasting and braking and gives the driver a score based on that information. The system also gives tips for improving fuel economy with visual feedback and reminder tips when a truck is parked.

The system can also be customized and programmed to offer performance settings selected by fleets or owner operators.

Tying all of the systems together is Driver Rewards. For fleets that want to, they can reward good driving performance with speed adjustments. If a driver has had positive fuel economy numbers the system can be tuned to reward a driver with increased cruise control. It uses fuel economy and percent idle time and the rewards program can be totally customized by the fleet.

Corrected 3/30/2015 -- Previous version of the story stated that Predictive Cruise Control was standard equipment on T680 and T880, but the system is in fact optional.