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Hyundai and Kia to Debut Automatic Gearbox with Predictive Shifting

The South Korean auto manufacturing duo Hyundai and Kia are constantly in process of improving their transmission systems. Announced this week, the duo will debut their first predictive shifting called Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System.

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The new transmission technology essentially enables the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead. This is achieved through real-time navigation information sent via cameras, radar, and 3D navigation equipped with a precise map of the road.

While the current automatic shifting of Hyundai and Kia vehicles, dubbed as Smart Drive Mode, relies on the driver’s preferences, the ICT Connect Shift System predicts the situations ahead. The 3D navigation feeds oncoming elevation, gradient, curvature and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions. Radar, on the other hand, detects speed and distance from vehicles, while the cameras provide lane information. With all these inputs fed onto the car’s TCU, optimal shift scenarios are predicted and engaged, which should improve fuel efficiency and handling.

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According to the companies’ test scenarios, the ICT Connect Shift System reduced the frequency of shifts by 43% in cornering on heavily curved roads. Frequency of braking has also been reduced by 11% in the same scenario, therefore reducing driving fatigue and brake wear. Hyundai and Kia are looking to employ the ICT Connect Shift System to their future models, but they haven’t mention which ones will be using the new transmission system and from when. However the system will likely be incorporated with their autonomous vehicles.

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