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Mercedes truck uses GPS to predict what's ahead and shifts gears to save fuel

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A Mercedes long-haul truck has been outfitted with a new system that knows when you're going up of down a hill, and can accomodate accordingly.

Mercedes Actros truck
Mercedes Actros truck

Mercedes' Actros long-haul truck now comes outfitted with a system that already knows what's on the road ahead in order to save fuel. Called Predictive Power Control, the system uses GPS data to determine the topography of the road, and then "intervenes" when necessary to control speed, braking, and shift gears in order to drive as efficiently as possible. Mercedes claims that this reduces the amount of fuel consumed by three percent. It's based on a similar set-up called Predictive Cruise Control, which debuted in 2009 and worked similarly but could only control speed and braking. If you're driving a new Actros there will be no changes to how you actually operate the vehicle, though the company says that to get similar results without Predictive Power Control would require "an extremely motivated truck driver with an exceptional level of concentration" — now if only the company could make it invisible, too.