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February 25, 2020

Hyundai and Kias Will Shift, Brake Less Thanks to Big Data

Hyundai Motor Group is harnessing the power of big data to rid the world of needless gear shifting. Called Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System, it will predictively shift gears after identifying road and traffic conditions ahead.

Currently, gearboxes shift gears depending on a driver’s preference (or in the case of Rolls-Royce, GPS information as well). However, Hyundai’s system will be the first to consider road and traffic conditions as well.

The ICT Connected Shift System uses intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time input from technologies such as the GPS navigation as well as the car’s own cameras and radar. 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.

Using all of these inputs, the TCU predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations and will shift the gears accordingly. For example, when a relatively long slow down is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.

When Hyundai and Kia tested a vehicle with an ICT Connected Shift System on a heavily curved road, the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by approximately 43 percent compared to vehicles without the system. Accordingly, the system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by approximately 11 percent, thereby minimizing driving fatigue and brake wear.

When rapid acceleration was required to enter a highway, the driving mode automatically switched to Sport Mode at the merge, making it easier to join the traffic flow. After merging with traffic, the vehicle automatically returned to its original driving mode, enabling safe and efficient driving.

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.

Hyundai and Kia are also planning to further develop the ICT Connected Shift System that can communicate with traffic signals based on LTE or 5G communication to further refine gear-shift control.

Plans are already underway to deploy them in future Hyundai and Kia models, and the company filed around 40 major patents both in South Korea and abroad.

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