Volvo says I-See, a new feature available with an updated I-Shift automated transmission, memorizes thousands of traveled routes and uses that knowledge to keep the truck in the best, most fuel-efficient gear possible.

When cruise control is activated as a truck travels a route for the first time, I-See will record the topography of the route, storing up to 4,500 hills in its memory. The next time the vehicle travels that route, I-See will recognize it and work with the Volvo I-Shift to choose the best gear.

“Because Volvo I-See memorizes the road gradient, Volvo I-Shift is prepared and automatically shifts to the best possible gear for the terrain,” said Göran Nyberg, president of Volvo Trucks North America. “This would not be possible without integration, where all components seamlessly communicate with each other.”

While in cruise, I-See’s built-in electronics constantly monitor factors such as road grade, speed, weight and engine load to help maintain the most efficient gear possible, he said. Working with I-See, the I-Shift transmission will prepare for upcoming inclines by building speed, keeping the truck in a higher gear for better economy, while avoiding unnecessary downshifts that can waste fuel.  

I-See is not dependent on constant GPS connections. Once a hill is recognized, it can pull from its memory to prepare for upcoming road variations.

Eco-Roll disengages the driveline just as the truck crests a hill to let the truck roll for the optimum period to save energy, Nyberg explained. I-See then works to maintain the truck speed, managing the kinetic energy of the vehicle by gently engaging the engine brake to control downhill speed. I-See recognizes when the slope is coming to an end so it allows the truck to maintain the vehicle momentum for the following hill.

“I-See, Volvo Eco-Roll and the intelligent Volvo Engine Brake work seamlessly together to minimize the need for braking, reducing driver fatigue and brake wear,” said Allison Athey, Volvo product marketing manager, transmissions. “The driver is more productive, and the vehicle is more efficient.”