SEOUL, Feb. 21 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. announced Thursday the development of the world’s first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System, enabling a vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead.
The two companies have submitted applications for some 40 patents critical to the ICT Connected Shift System.
The system controls the shifting gear based on the information sent from various ICT devices including 3D navigation and smart cruise control cameras and radar.
Data related to elevation, gradient, curvature, a variety of road events, current traffic conditions, the speed and distance between the vehicle and others, and lane information from a forward-looking camera are sent to the Transmission Control Unit (TCU).
The gear control device automatically shifts the gear by anticipating the most ideal shifting scenario based on the information feed.
For instance, when a relatively long slowdown is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.
When entering a highway, the driving mode automatically switches to Sport Mode for rapid acceleration at the merge, making it easier to join the traffic flow.
The vehicle automatically returns to its original driving mode after the merge to enable safe and efficient driving.
In addition, engine brakes are automatically applied upon release of the accelerator pedal by determining speed bumps, downhill slopes and the location of the speed limit change on the road.
The system’s front radar detects the changes in distance from the front car to adjust the appropriate transmission gear automatically.
Automatic shifting based on front radar calculations worked at a frequency of 31 percent during a test drive from Hyundai’s Namyang R&D Center in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province to company headquarters in Seoul’s Seocho District.
During the test, the frequency of shifts during cornering was reduced by approximately 43 percent compared to vehicles without the system.
The system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by approximately 11 percent, minimizing driving fatigue and brake wear.
Hyundai and Kia plan to feature the ICT Connected Shift System on new models. They are also planning to enable communication with traffic lights and reflect the driving patterns of a driver to further develop the system.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)