Thomas Hilse, IVECO brand president, says: “Our products have always evolved by listening to customers. Now they have learned to talk to them, too, using the most advanced artificial-intelligence-based assistant in the world. What we’re looking at is a transition from manual to voice control.”
Promoted under the IVECO Driver Pal banner, the new service will enable drivers to ask Alexa a host of questions about everything from the oil level in the vehicle’s engine to whether they will encounter any bad weather on their journey. They will also be able to obtain real-time information from other Alexa-enabled IVECO drivers on, for example, traffic hold-ups or queues at borders.
“It’s a bit like old-time CB radio,” Hilse smiles.
Voice commands will allow drivers to ask for their favourite music or podcasts to be played and find out when they need to stop for their statutory breaks based on tachograph information. They can check their Driver Style Evaluation score and ask for tips to help them drive more safely and efficiently, and contact Alexa-enabled devices at their homes; the list of features they can access seems endless.
Turning to physical upgrades, so far as Daily is concerned they include the availability of electronically-controlled Air-Pro air suspension. As well as allowing the cargo floor to be lowered for easier loading, it cuts vibration by 25% and the roll angle when cornering by 30%, says the manufacturer.
Responding to uneven highway surfaces, it recalculates the ideal pressure on each shock absorber every 10 milliseconds. The driver can alter Air-Pro’s settings, giving comfort top priority, for example, by selecting ‘Soft’.
A new six-speed manual gearbox has been introduced with an ultra-long 350,000km oil change interval (which in effect means no oil change at all) and the 2.3-litre diesel engine has been redesigned. Torque has increased by up to 15% while fuel consumption is down by getting on for 6%, says IVECO.
The 2.3-litre is now coupled with the same clutch as the 3.0-litre diesel, which remains available. Doing so has boosted clutch durability in this application by as much as 18%, IVECO contends.
Daily diesels now feature what the manufacturer describes as a double SCR aftertreatment to reduce emissions.
A new electric Daily looks set to appear next year.
S-Way’s diesels now all meet Euro VI/E emission standards and are type-approved to run on 100% second-generation biodiesels, including HVO.
Its Cursor 13 engines are coupled with new single-reduction rear axles, with longer ratios down to 2.31:1, on offer with standard profile tyres. This assists with down-speeding, which should spell greater fuel efficiency on long-haul work.
Two new Cursor 13 power ratings – 483bhp and 523bhp – have been introduced, and the Cursor 13 and Cursor 11 ranges have higher compression ratios and new combustion management systems. IVECO is promoting the smaller option as the ideal choice for intercity trunking work.
A-pillar aerodynamic covers help to smooth S-Way’s cab profile and the automatic air-conditioning is now governed by Eco Mode, designed to prevent it from using too much energy. Such changes have helped cut S-Way’s fuel usage by approaching 3%, says IVECO.
CNG and LNG versions of S-Way have not been ignored, with modification such as a variable-flow steering pump introduced to improve their efficiency.