Hyundai Develops the World's First Active Shift Control for Hybrid Vehicles
【Summary】Hyundai Motor Group has developed the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC) transmission technology. The innovation optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second, precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed to for faster shift times.
Although fully-electric vehicles continue to be the focus of the auto industry, there's still a big demand for more efficient and affordable hybrid vehicles, which use both a internal combustion engine combined with an electric powertrain.
For its future hybrid models, Hyundai Motor Group developed the world's first Active Shift Control (ASC) transmission technology. The innovation optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second, precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed to for faster shift times.
Hyundai says its ASC transmission technology adds to driving fun and further improves fuel economy.
The ASC transmission applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which then controls the electric motor to align the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shift time by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes for passengers, despite quicker shift times.
"The development of world's first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation which incorporates precise motor control to automatic transmission," said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group, "It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers."
To improve fuel economy, conventional hybrid vehicles, such as the Honda Accord hybrid, do not use torque converters, since torque converters acting as a fluid coupling lose energy during the process of transferring the rotation power of the engine to the transmission. These systems also require longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.
A diagram of the power flow, the HCU controls the rotational speed of the electric motor unit.
How it Works
Hyundai's new ASC technology allows the hybrid's electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift times, which also inhibits the vehicle's overall acceleration.
The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second. The HCU can quickly synchronize the rotational speed of the electric motor to match the engine RPM.
With this level of synchronization, Hyundai says that shift time is reduced by 30% from 500ms to 350ms making them happen sooner, which results in quicker acceleration. This not only improves hybrid vehicle's acceleration performance and fuel economy, but also durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during gear shift.
The new technology will premiere in the upcoming Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and eventually make its way to other vehicle in Hyundai and Kia's hybrid lineup.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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