Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation has this week announced that they have developed the world’s first predictive ‘connected shift system’, which enables the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead.
Hyundai and Kia plan to apply the technology on future vehicles.
While the technologies used to automatically shift depend on drivers’ preferences, such as Smart Drive Mode – available on most current Hyundai and Kia models – ICT connected shift system is the first ICT to automatically shift the gear according to road and traffic conditions.
The system uses intelligent software in the transmission control unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time input from underlying technologies, including 3D navigation equipped with a precise map of the road as well as cameras and radar for smart cruise control.
How it works
The 3D navigation input includes elevation, gradient, curvature and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions.
Radar detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and others, and a forward-looking camera provides lane information.
Using all of these inputs, the TCU predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly.
Byeong Wook Jeon, head of intelligent drivetrain control research lab, said: “Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions.
“Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimized for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies.”
During testing, the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by 43 per cent compared to vehicles without the system.
The system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by 11 per cent.
Predictive gear-shifting control system
When rapid acceleration was required to enter a highway, the driving mode automatically switched to sport mode at the merge, making it easier to join the traffic flow.
After merging with traffic, the vehicle automatically returned to its original driving mode.
In addition, the engine brakes were automatically applied upon release of the accelerator pedal by determining speed bumps, downhill slopes and location of the speed limit change on the road.
The changes in distance from the front car were detected by the front radar to adjust appropriate transmission gear automatically.
The system is also in line with autonomous technology, which is developing day by day.
Hyundai and Kia are planning to further develop the ICT connected shift system into an even more intelligent transmission technology that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication and identify drivers’ tendencies, resulting in further refinement of gear-shift control.
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