Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have announced that they have developed a predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System for greater efficiency and comfort. It is a system that allows the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear based on traffic and road conditions ahead.
This is the world’s first real “connected” automatic gearbox that the group brands intend to integrate on the future models of their respective ranges.
How does it work?
Unlike the system that currently exists, such as the Smart Drive mode that used to automatically shift depending on the preferences of the drivers, the ICT is the first to automatically shift the gear according to road and traffic conditions. The ICT system exploits an intelligent software installed in the transmission control unit (TCU), which collects, studies, and analyzes the information in real-time.
This information is obtained from other technologies present on board: such as 3D navigation, which is equipped with an accurate road map. It also includes elevation, gradient, curvature, and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions. The system also uses data from the front cameras, which provides information relating to the lane and the radar, for intelligent cruise control, detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and the other cars.
Based on this and other information, the Transmission Control Unit (TCU), through an artificial intelligence algorithm, predict the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations. For example, when the system foresees a long slowdown phase and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the TCU temporarily shifts to the neutral mode and roll forward the car, saving fuel.
The advantages of ICT
According to the tests carried out, vehicles equipped with ICT technology have recorded a reduction of the gear change in curves up to 43% compared to those that do not have it. The system also passes through reduced use of the brakes (about 11% less), thereby minimizing driving fatigue and brake wear.
Hyundai and Kia are planning to use ICT technology in their future models. The Koreans noted that during the development, about 40 patents were received, however, the system will continue to improve, for example, to interact with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication and recognize the intentions of the driver.