Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cuts test consumption in Setra touring coach by an average of 9.2 percent

Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) cuts test consumption in Setra touring coach by an average of 9.2 percent
March 2014
  • First anticipatory cruise control on board a touring coach
  • European journalists from the specialist press test PPC in the Setra TopClass 500
Daimler cites up to four percent less fuel consumption through the use of the anticipatory cruise control Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) in the touring coach. In an extensive test the prediction was even exceeded by a considerable amount: during drives with experienced bus and coach journalists at the wheel over more than 3000 km the consumption of the new Setra TopClass 500 with PPC even fell by an average of 9.2 percent.
European journalists from the specialist press test PPC in the TopClass 500
More than two dozen journalists from the specialist press from all over Europe tested PPC intensively on the topographically challenging A6 motorway between Kaiserslautern and Grünstadt. On five days of driving they covered a total of 3120 km. The fuel consumption was precisely recorded using measuring devices. Three new Setra TopClass 500 touring coaches were tested in various versions.The three-axle super-high-deck touring coaches were each realistically loaded to a gross vehicle weight of 21.5 t.
The new Setra TopClass 500 is innately already very economical. The basis for this is provided by the superb aerodynamics with an extremely favourable Cd value of cd=0.33 and an optimally matched drive system with the Mercedes-Benz six-cylinder in-line OM 471 (output 350 kW/476 hp or 375 kW/510 hp) and the fully automated eight-speed Mercedes GO 250-8 PowerShift transmission. In this configuration the laden super-high-deck touring coaches measuring nearly four metres in length achieved an average of 31.7 litres/100 km without the use of PPC on the hilly motorway.
PPC can cut fuel consumption in Setra and Mercedes-Benz touring coaches
With Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) the consumption during the test drives fell by an average of 9.2 percent to an impressive 28.7 litres/100 km. The range of measured values was, irrespective of the personal driving style and the individual setting of PPC, between 27.1 and 30.7 litres/100 km. The difference in favour of PPC amounted to 5.9 and in the best case even as much as 11.7 percent. The test route selected was, with its hilly topography, geared to the use of PPC. In other conditions considerably different measured values are therefore possible.
First anticipatory cruise control on board a touring coach
The Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) driver assistance system is the first anticipatory cruise control in the world for touring coaches to intervene in the transmission control. Developed by Daimler Buses, it will be used for the first time from the middle of the year in the new top model series, the Setra TopClass 500. This will be followed at the end of 2014 by the Mercedes-Benz Travego and the Setra ComfortClass 500. PPC accesses the topographical data of virtually 100 percent of the motorways, trunk and main roads in Europe. Via GPS PPC can at all times detect the current position of the coach and the route ahead with its height profile.
On the basis of these data, the current speed plus the specified speed, the current vehicle mass plus the data on the engine output, torque and transmission PPC not only controls the speed; it also intervenes in the transmission and selects the suitable gear.
PPC uses peak engine revs before inclines, shifts down in good time in an anticipatory fashion, reduces power before hilltops and within permitted speed range allows the touring coach to freewheel on downhill gradients with light peak engine revs. In so doing PPC also uses the EcoRoll technology: In cases where this is worthwhile the technology selects the transmission's neutral setting and thus allows the touring coach to freewheel for longer in a consumption-saving manner with any drag losses.
In short: with this tactic PPC drives as considerately as an excellent coach driver. But it always does so with the utmost attention, round the clock without any loss of stamina and with a perfect knowledge of virtually all the trunk roads in Europe.

Press Contact

  • Head of Content Management Mercedes-Benz Trucks & Daimler Buses
  • Tel: +49 711 17-53058



  • 14A254
    The forward-looking cruise-control Predictive Powertrain Control (PPC) is available at the middle of the year as option in the new Setra flagship TopClass 500.
  • 13C900_13
    Mercedes-Benz Travego 15 RHD, exterior