Hyundai and Kia Develop World's First Predictive Gear Shift Control System

The system will help enable the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead.

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Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation announced today that they have developed the world's first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System. The system will help enable the vehicle to automatically shift to the optimal gear after identifying the road and traffic conditions ahead. During the development of this system, the companies filed about 40 major patents in South Korea and abroad.

While the technologies used to automatically shift depend on drivers' preferences, such as Smart Drive Mode - available on most current Hyundai and Kia models - ICT Connected Shift System is the first to automatically shift the gear according to road and traffic conditions.

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Hyundai Cars

ICT Connected Shift System 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 input includes elevation, gradient, curvature and a variety of road events as well as current traffic conditions. Radar detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and others, and a forward-looking camera provides lane information.

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The system collects and interprets real-time input from underlying technologies, including 3D navigation equipped with a precise map of the road 

Using all of these inputs, the TCU predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly. In addition, the engine brakes were automatically applied upon release of the accelerator pedal by determining speed bumps, downhill slopes and location of the speed limit change on the road. The changes in distance from the front car were detected by the front radar to adjust appropriate transmission gear automatically, which improved driving quality.

The system is also in line with autonomous technology, which is developing day by day. The ICT Connected Shift System will deliver both improved fuel efficiency and a stable driving experience in the era of autonomous vehicles by providing improved performance in response to real-time road and traffic conditions.

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Hyundai and Kia are planning to further develop the ICT Connected Shift System into an even more intelligent transmission technology that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication and identify drivers' tendencies.

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