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October 17, 2014 4:00 PM, EDT

Kenworth Offers New In-Cab Coaching Tool to Improve Driver Performance

Kenworth Truck Co. said it is offering a new in-cab driver coaching tool on its new T680 and T880 models equipped with Paccar MX-13 engines and automated transmissions.

The new feature, named Driver Performance Assistant, gives drivers real-time feedback on how their driving performance is affecting wear on brakes and fuel economy.

“We think fleets will utilize this technology, especially to help new or inexperienced drivers maximize performance,” Kurt Swihart, Kenworth marketing director, said in the Oct. 17 announcement. “It’s also a tool for those fleets with driver performance incentives in place. Owner-operators who want to maximize driver performance also will benefit.”

Driver Performance Assistant is an option with Kenworth’s Driver Performance Center, which provides the driver with real-time information on vehicle diagnostics and performance indicators through a built-in display on the dashboard behind the steering wheel.

In addition to monitoring the driver’s braking activity on the road, the program also enables drivers to review their trip performance and view their performance ratings during rest periods.

When the truck is parked, Driver Performance Assistant also gives drivers reminders to avoid unnecessary air conditioning or engine idling to help them improve fuel economy.

Separately, Kenworth also announced an optional anti-theft system for the T680 and T880.

The system, which integrates the engine with the Driver Performance Center, prompts the driver to enter a passcode to start the truck after turning the ignition. If an incorrect code is entered, the system disables the engine until the correct code is used.

Kenworth, based in Kirkland, Washington, is part of truck and engine maker Paccar Inc., which is also the parent company of Peterbilt Motors Co.