Scania annual report 2006 23 n Gas Gaseous fuel is bulky to store and carry. It is thus most suitable for stationary plants that generate heat and power. However, it can also be used for vehicles in city traffic, where the driving distance is limited and the fuel supply can be ensured. Such fuel may consist of natural gas or biogas. Since the early 1980s Scania has delivered more than 2,000 gas-powered engines. n Hybrid drive Scania is also working with hybrid drive for heavy vehicles. The hybrid technology that Scania is now developing is based on robust technology from today’s vehicles, supplemented with an electric motor for propulsion which also serves as a generator when braking, plus supercapacitors for storing energy. The power plant may be a diesel, ethanol or gas-powered engine. Hybrid drive will be available in the market in a few years and will yield fuel savings of 25 percent or more in stop-and-go city traffic. Scania’s development target is that hybrid drive should be directly profitable for the customer, without subsidies. More than 100 patents during 2006 At the Scania Technical Centre, 2,000 specialists work with everything from mechanics, electronics, ergonomics, design and aerodynamics to social sciences. Every year Scania’s research and development yields a number of patented inventions. During 2006, this work led to more than 100 patent applications. Nowadays about half of Scania’s patents are related to electronics and control systems. Their distribution in the vehicle is as follows: half of them are related to the engine and transmission, with the remainder related to the chassis and the cab. Driver support Among the innovations that received patent protection during 2006 are four mutually interrelated functions that give drivers real-time feedback about their driving style and suggestions for improvements. One function monitors a vehicle’s movements in all directions, one monitors driving style in terms of the ability to anticipate events and obstacles looming ahead, one observes how the driver uses the various braking systems in relation to road conditions, and one tracks the driver’s fuel-efficient driving capabilities. Such functions can eventually be used to provide drivers with continuous support in order to hone their skills and prevent improper or unsafe driving habits. They are also used in workshops to tailor a vehicle’s maintenance to its actual conditions of use, as well as to analyse and optimise the specification when the customer is ready to buy his or her next truck.