Hyundai and Kia Develop World's First ICT Connected Shift System

Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have just developed the world's first predictive Informaton and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System. This feature allows the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after recognizing road and traffic conditions ahead. Hyundai and Kia plan to apply the technology on all its future vehicles.




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The ICT Connected Shift System is considered the first ICT to automatially shift the gear depending on road and traffic conditions. It uses software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that gathers and translates real-time input from existing technologies, including the 3D navigation that contains an accurate map of the road as well as cameras and radar used for smart cruise control.


Meanwhile, its 3D navigations system features curvature, gradient, elevation, and other various road events and existing traffic conditions. Its radar can notice the speed and distance between vehicles and those around them, while the forward-looking camera gives lane information.


All these factors allow the TCU to predict the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving setting via the use of an artificial intelligence algorithm, and then shifts the gears appropriately. For instance, when the radar doesn't detect any speed irregularities during a slow down with the car ahead of you, it will temporarily switch the transmission clutcch to neutral mode to lessen fuel wastage.


Hyundai and Kia tested fitted a vehicle with an ICT Connected Shift System on a heavily curved road, and the result was a reduction of shift frequency by approximately 43 percent compared to vehicle without the system. Brake frequency operation also decreased by an estimated 11 percent, which consequently minimized driving fatigue and brake wear.


During a rapid acceleration when entering a highway, the driving mode was automatically changed to Sport Mode at the merge. This made it easier to ease into the traffic flow. Once the vehicle merged with traffic, the vehicle automatically reverted back to its original driving mode.


Moreover, the engine brakes were automatically activated once the accelerator pedal was released. This was done by analyzing the downhill slopes, speed bumps, and location of the speed limit change on the road. The car used the front radar to measure the changes in distance to help it determine the correct transmission gear automatically.




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Hyundai and Kia have high hopes for the ICT Connected Shift System, and wants to develop it to an even more intelligent transmission technology that allows it to communicate with traffic signals via LTE or 5G communication.


“Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions,” said Byeong Wook Jeon, Head of Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab.


“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.”