Montréal, QC-based Performance Innovation Transport (PIT), a not-for-profit engineering and research group for the North American trucking industry, has announced it has received funding from the Province of Quebec government to initiate a commercial-vehicle engine programming project aimed at reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

According to PIT, the project will focus on providing engine manufacturers with guidance on developing parameters and setting defaults as well at giving truck fleets guidance on which parameters to use based on a truck’s application.

“All sectors of the road-transport industry are affected by the lack of knowledge related to engine optimization,” said Yves Provencher, director of PIT.

“There are over 200 configurable parameters available to fleets free of charge to optimize engine performance based on usage, yet over 80% of engines sold are specified with the default settings,” he explained.

“Millions of dollars and thousands of hours are spent annually on implementing new fuel and emission reducing technologies while something as simple as appropriate engine programming could represent fuel savings of 10 to 15%,” Provencher added. 

PIT’s partners in the engine-programming project include:

  • Cummins Eastern Canada
  • Cascades Transport Inc. (a PIT fleet member)
  • Association of Mechanical Inspection Agents of Quebec (a collaboration between Canadian transportation, insurance and environmental agencies to improve and ensure consistency on all shops that perform mechanical and emissions inspections)
  • The Société des Alcools du Québec (a government-run alcohol distributor and a PIT fleet member)

PIT noted that programming parameters will be developed for long-haul, regional, delivery, refuse and forestry truck as well as bus applications.

Formed in 2008, PIT describes itself as an “unbiased, neutral testing organization to help manufacturers evaluate and refine prototypes and fleet managers select the best technologies to reduce costs and environmental impact.”

PIT works in cooperation with the U.S. SmartWay Transport Partnership, Natural Resources Canada and Environment Canada, which has selected PIT as the benchmark facility for testing green transportation technologies. PIT evaluates and implements technologies that promote efficient energy use in the commercial transportation, municipal and transit industries.

Membership in PIT has grown to include 36 fleets, 18 municipalities, and 4 Canadian federal and provincial government agencies.