A small step towards better fuel efficiency

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Published: July 20, 2019 2:37:42 AM

Hyundai Motor Group develops a new gear-shift control for hybrid vehicles.

The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronise the rotational speed with that of engine.

Hyundai Motor Group, South Korea, has said it has developed a new Active Shift Control (ASC) transmission technology for hybrid vehicles. “The ASC optimises transmission efficiency by monitoring gear-shifts 500 times per second, precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times,” the company said in a statement.

The ASC applies a 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 a claimed 30%. (Control logic is a part of a software program that controls its operations.)

“The ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, vice-president & head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group, “It will not only save fuel, but also provide a more fun-to-drive experience.”

Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to further improve fuel economy as torque converters lose energy during the process of transmission. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes. The ASC allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear-shifts by applying new software logic to the HCU to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronise the rotational speed with that of engine.

With this synchronisation, the company said, the shift time is reduced by 30% from 500ms to 350ms. “This not only improves a hybrid vehicle’s acceleration performance and fuel economy, but also durability of the transmission by minimising friction during gear-shift,” the statement added. The ASC will premiere in the upcoming Hyundai and Kia hybrids.

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