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The History of Scania Opticruise

Milestones in automated gearchanging

Scania Opticruise is an in-house development that automates gearchanging using a standard gearbox.

The only unique component on the gearbox is a special gearbox cover that incorporates pneumatic shift cylinders and position sensors.

This concept has far-reaching benefits in terms of chassis installation (which is identical to a manual gearbox), bodybuilding and power take-off installation.

Extensive parts commonality facilitates servicing and repairs, and makes trucks with Scania Opticruise familiar to any Scania service technician.

Since it was originally unveiled in 1994, close to 150,000 trucks and buses worldwide have been delivered with Scania Opticruise, making it the pioneer and one of the most widespread automated gearchanging systems in the market.


Pneumatic gearchanging in laboratory test rigs. New computer-controlled gearchanging test rigs were developed.


Computer-Aided Gearchanging (CAG) launched in 1984, breaking new ground. Best gear calculated, engaged automatically when driver declutched. In the late 1980s, computerised gearchanging experiments were initiated. These trials also included the Scania Retarder, which was then under development. Control of the retarder was integrated. Some tests were made with an automated clutch, as well as with torque converter.


In the early 1990s, Scania applied for a large number of patents on two in-house developments: an auxiliary braking system (retarder) and an automated mechanical gearchanging system. The patents included a large number of software features, indicating the strong potential of electronic control systems.

The Scania Retarder was introduced in 1993, becoming the first auxiliary braking system with automated downhill speed control and with the retarder function integrated in the brake pedal.

In 1994, large-scale field tests started on Scania Opticruise. The automated gearchanging system was presented to the press and the public launch took place one year later in conjunction with the introduction of the Scania 4-series trucks.


By the turn of the millennium, Scania Opticruise had established itself as the best-selling automated gearchanging system in the market. Continuous improvements were made, with significant steps taken to refine the gearchanging strategy in conjunction with the introduction of the R-series in 2004, the new gearbox generation and Euro 4 engine range in 2005 and the new Euro 5 EGR engine platform in 2007.


Scania introduces an all-new Fully Automated Opticruise that dispenses with a clutch pedal for engine outputs up to 440hp. The standard Scania Opticruise lives on with three-pedals for all engine outputs up to 620hp. It is fitted as standard to most Scania products sold in Australia.