Korean car giants Hyundai and Kia have developed the world’s first predictive ICT Connected Shift System.
The system automatically changes to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead and will be a feature of future vehicles.
The technologies used to automatically shift depend on driver preferences such as Smart Drive Mode. ICT Connected Shift System is the first to automatically change gear according to road and traffic conditions.
It 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.
The 3D navigation looks at road and traffic conditions, with radar detecting speed and distance between the vehicles and others, and a forward-looking camera provides lane information.
Using the inputs, the TCU predicts optimal shifts for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and changes gear accordingly.
When the system was tested on a heavily curved road, the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by 43% and brake operation by about 11%.
When rapid acceleration was required to enter a highway, the driving mode automatically changed to Sport Mode for merging, then automatically returned to its original driving mode.
Engine brakes were automatically applied when the accelerator pedal was released by determining speed bumps, downhill slopes and the location of speed limit changes.
The changes in distance from the front car were detected by the front radar to adjust gears automatically, improving driving quality.
Hyundai and Kia are planning to further develop the ICT Connected Shift System to communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication and identify drivers’ tendencies.
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.”