Hyundai and Kia announce predictive shift system
Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation announced the development of a Connected Shift System based on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Both are the most important members of the South Korean-based Hyundai Motors group.
The Connected Shift System can predict the oncoming road and traffic conditions and act on the shifting pattern of the car’s propulsion system. Hyundai and Kia plan to implement the technology in their future models as soon as possible.
Until now, most shift systems are dependent on what the driver is preferring. The BMW Group presented a system a few years ago that used navigation data from the GPS to pre-program the gearbox. This system is (among others) used in its Rolls-Royce brand.
Hyundai’s ICT Connected Shift System goes further. It uses intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that assembles and interprets real-time input of underlying technologies, like 3D-navigation with accurate mapping, and camera and radar information from the intelligent cruise control.
This 3D-navigation input contains the road’s height, slope, curve, and surface condition, and takes into account the traffic conditions. Radars and cameras detect speed and distance to other road users and also give information on the road to follow.
All these data are processed by the TCU to create an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that chooses the most appropriate shifting points or patterns. The traffic conditions and the aim to use as less energy as possible are the major factors to take into account here.
Tests on a very twisty road with a car with an ICT Connected Shift System have indicated that the car shifted 43% less than a car without the system, and the car also braked 11% less, saving brakes and emitting less fine dust.
Of course, the engine brake is automatically used when obstacles like ‘sleeping policemen’ or speed limits appear, or when a predecessor is adjusting his speed. For the occupants of the car, the driving experience becomes more decontracted and comfortable.
The system can also be part of the autonomous driving technologies that are developed all over the world. It will lead to lower fuel consumption and a more stable and comfortable driving sensation.
Hyundai plans to develop the system further so that it can also communicate with traffic signs or other beacons along the road, using 5G or LTE communication technology.
“Vehicles are evolving from simple mobility aids toward intelligent mobility systems,” says Byeong Wook Jeon, Head of the Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab at Hyundai. “Even a traditional car component like the driveline becomes high tech, optimized for smart mobility by ICT and AI.”