Thursday, April 7, 2011

BMW Working on Psychic Automatic Transmission

BMW Working on Psychic Automatic Transmission: "

Given that your car is already packed with computing power, the systems might as well be able to communicate with each other. To that end, BMW is working on a transmission that can take inputs from the stability-control system as well as the GPS to help it read the road and determine which gear you’ll need next.

For now, it’s called an “anticipatory control function.” (Trust BMW to come up with a more catchy name with seemingly random capitalization.) It’s being developed for the ZF-supplied eight-speed auto that’s quickly proliferating across BMW’s portfolio. Signals from the stability control give the transmission an idea of available grip—if it’s snowy and the road is slick, say, the transmission will know to shift earlier and less abruptly. If you’re enjoying a brisk run down a canyon road, the nav system tells the transmission there’s a bend coming up so it can choose what it thinks is the correct gear for corner exit. Further evolutions of the solution will also read data from any onboard cameras or radar systems, as well as traffic information.

BMW compares the smart transmission’s ability to that of “an experienced driver using a manual gearbox.” Like us, some may prefer the stick, but we’ll concede that the automatic transmission is here to stay. It’s a pretty cool idea, and a more intelligent, all-knowing transmission could bring benefits in both efficiency and safety. We anticipate the anticipatory transmission’s arrival.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...