Hyundai and Kia developed world’s first ICT connected predictive shift system
If you’ve always been concerned about the traffic on the road you’re driving, KIA Motors Corporation in collaboration with Hyundai Motors Company have come up with world’s first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System. The most stand-out feature is the ability of the vehicle to shift gear to optimal gear, once it detects the traffic conditions ahead. The two companies have signed around 40 patents in South Africa and Korea in hopes of expanding the technology to future vehicles.
Former technologies like the Smart Drive Mode were able to shift the drive depending on the preference of the driver. In contrast, the latest ICT Connect Shift System is able to detect traffic to shift the gear.
An intelligent software called the Transmission Control unit uses the input from various technologies like 3D navigation which integrates a road map using cameras and radars. Major details like the elevation, gradient, curvature and the traffic conditions are all part of the 3D input. Through the radar, the speed of the surrounding cars and their proximity is detected and a camera helps analyse the lane conditions.
With all the inputs the TCU can make apt calculations using algorithmic functions to predict the optimal shift and consequently shift gears. This serves as a fuel efficient technique in various instances for example if no irregular speed or heavy traffic flow is observed, the vehicle will shift to a neutral mode.
During initial tests by Hyundai and Kia with the integrated ICT Connected Shift System, vehicles with the system had a 43% reduced frequency of shifts in comparison to the regular vehicles. Additionally, the frequency of the brake’s application was also reduced by 11% which helps minimize the wear and tear on the mechanics of the brakes.
If high acceleration rates are required, for instance, when merging into the highway traffic, the vehicle shifts from driving mode into sport mode and regains its original driving mode once it has merged which creates a safe drive environment.
To further assist the driving, speed bumps, steep slopes and a speed limit can be detected and brakes would be automatically applied when the driver releases the pedals. The proximity of the car in front will be detected and improves the quality of driving.
The ICT system not just provides a better fuel efficiency but also ensures a stable drive by incorporating real time road and traffic conditions, all of which make it the safest technology.
To further aid this innovation, Hyundai and Kia plan on integrating the LTE and 5G communication technologies which can recognize the driver’s patterns to make an even more efficient system.
According to the Head of Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab, Byeong Wook 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.
All Images: Kia