The Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) driver assistance system is the first
anticipatory cruise control for touring coaches in the world to offer transmission control intervention. Developed by Daimler Buses, it will be deployed in the Mercedes-Benz Travego
from the middle of this year. PPC uses the topographical data on nearly every motorway, highway and main road in Europe. Through GPS, PPC recognises the coach's current position at any given time and calculates the inclines and slopes ahead.
On the basis of this data, the coach's current speed and the desired
speed, the current vehicle mass and the data on the engine output,
torque and transmission status, PPC not only controls the vehicle's speed but also intervenes to select the most appropriate gear.
PPC accelerates ahead of steep inclines and selects the most appropriate gear
while climbing; it decelerates as the coach reaches the summit and guides the rolling of the coach on downhill slopes to ensure the speed limit is not broken. PPC also uses EcoRoll technology: where this makes sense, EcoRoll puts the transmission into neutral, thereby causing the coach
to roll on for longer, without loss of tempo and saving even more fuel.
In other words: PPC drives in as anticipatory a fashion as the very coach drivers - and this has been proven in tests. And all the time paying total attention, without any lapses or loss of concentration, with perfect knowledge of the road ahead for almost every highway in Europe.
Daimler has put a figure on the fuel savings through using the Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) anticipatory cruise control system in the touring coach: up to four percent. And in recent and extensive on-road testing, this prediction has even been bettered: In trips covering over 3000 km on demanding routes, with experienced bus and coach journalists at the wheel, average fuel consumption using PPC fell by as much as 9.2 percent.