Plymouth firm claims 10% fuel economy boost for trucks with adaptive cruise control

PLYMOUTH—Officials at Traxen, a trucking industry technology developer, announced the launch of a new intelligent adaptive cruise control system called iQ-Cruise for traditional and electric commercial vehicles.

The system will be available to both commercial vehicle manufacturers and through the aftermarket.

Through the use of artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms and sensors, company officials say iQ-Cruise can reduce fuel consumption by an average of 10 percent while improving safety, drivability and profit margins.

“With fuel cost being one of the top operating costs for fleets worldwide, delivering a solution like Traxen’s iQ-Cruise that offers a 10 percent fuel efficiency improvement on average is a truly remarkable feat for the industry,” said Ali Maleki, founder and CEO of Traxen. “We’re incredibly proud of what we have been able to accomplish through our comprehensive innovation process and the robust testing of our novel solution. Both aftermarket and OE customers, including those with electric vehicles, will immediately realize transformational benefits upon adoption of our sophisticated technology.”

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. Since its 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 interface.

Traxen conducted their first side-by-side cross-country trial in August 2020. This test was conducted over the road starting from Plymouth, Mich. 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,” said Mike Roeth, executive director of NACFE. “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 percent in various segments over a 6,100-mile cross-country drive. The average fuel efficiency improvement was 7 percent, 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,” continued Roeth.

Traxen continues to retrain and enhance its AI-based iQ-Cruise performance. Today, with the latest release of its software, iQ-Cruise is recording 10 percent 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 percent 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 intuitive technology will have a direct, sizeable impact on a fleet’s bottom line upon adoption,” said Mary Petrovich, chairman of Traxen’s board of directors. “In fact, fleets could save an average of $5,000 per truck per year using the proven iQ-Cruise, an enormous and immediate payback for the commercial vehicle industry.”

Traxen’s cutting-edge 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 truck manufacturers shortly afterward.

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