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      04-06-2011, 10:37 AM   #1
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Thumbs up BMW Developing Smarter Auto Transmission Which Shifts for Corners and Conditions

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BMW Developing Smarter Auto Transmission Which Shifts for Curves and Conditions
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Some interesting BMW transmission development news comes via Automobile and Autoblog from the just concluded BMW Innovation Days in Munich. BMW is said to be currently developing a smart new 8-speed automatic transmission (with technology dubbed "Foresight") which will know to downshift prior to the car entering corners or engaging hills, much as a manual driver would. The result is keeping the car in the proper 'sweet spot' gear and RPM range to allow for a sportier driving experience.

But that's not all Foresight will do. According to Automobile, "In addition to calling for earlier downshifts, Foresight will also instruct the transmission to hold a lower gear longer if it knows that there are multiple curves in close succession. For example, while driving through two curves connected with a short straight, a traditional automatic transmission might downshift gear-by-gear from eighth to fifth as the vehicle slowed, upshift to sixth on the straight, and then downshift again to fifth in the next curve. On that same section of road, a transmission with Foresight would shift from eighth to fourth gear using a double-gear downshift between sixth and fourth, then hold fourth gear for the straight and second turn."

How does the system predict that your BMW will be encountering corners or a hill? The system will rely on road information from a combination of navigation system, cellular data connection, DSC, and cameras/radar sensors mounted on the car.

This technology is currently being tested on the ZF 8-speed auto transmission already in service on BMWs and is expected to debut in BMWs within 3 to 5 years.

PRESS RELEASE + Expand

Development objective: identify road profile, understand driver's wishes.

As a result of further development there is now the possibility to adapt gearshift commands given by the transmission control system to each driving situation even more flexibly and at the same time more accurately. The anticipatory transmission control system currently in the advance development stage utilises, in addition to the driver's intention, further information to take into consideration road surface conditions, road topology as well as the traffic situation when selecting the ideal gear. For this purpose, the transmission control system is linked to both the DSC (Dynamics Stability Control) function as well as the navigation system in the initial stage. In the configuration levels that follow, a link-up with the cameras utilised for the driver assistance systems or radar and additional sensors respectively is under consideration.

The data provided by the DSC sensors pertaining to the road surface friction coefficient help the system particularly in the case of low friction coefficients to prepare optimally for the typical control intervention during the acceleration phase that follows. Using the data provided by the navigation system, it is possible to determine the radius of a bend long before it is approached. Based on this information the transmission control system then determines with even greater accuracy the gear required for a smooth driving manoeuvre and confident acceleration out of the bend. Moreover, using information provided by cameras and radar sensors and pertaining to the traffic situation ahead of the vehicle, it will in future be possible to determine for example the required amount of deceleration and adapt the drive management to each specific situation.

In practice and thanks to this anticipatory control system, the automatic transmission adapts remarkably accurately to the situation-related requirements and demands of the driver. As a result of the complexity of the factors taken into consideration by the control system, the automatic transmission selects the appropriate gear similarly as foresighted as an experienced driver using a manual gearbox. It assists the driver with fast and appropriate response, which immediately leads to an increase in driving pleasure and optimised efficiency. Hence, the interaction between driver and vehicle reaches a new dimension.



UPDATED WITH VIDEO (English Portion at Latter Part of Video):





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      04-06-2011, 01:05 PM   #2
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This will lead to all sorts of weirdness when the Navi map is out of date.
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      04-06-2011, 01:08 PM   #3
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welcome to the future...
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      04-06-2011, 01:09 PM   #4
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that is an excellent Idea. The lack of smart shifting is part of the reason I choose manual - but better transmissions could help sway me to auto.
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      04-06-2011, 01:53 PM   #5
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there is a simpler solution to all this. It is called manual transmission
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      04-06-2011, 02:02 PM   #6
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why not just use the m-sport manual mode and shift it yourself? It's a good idea in theory, but BMW should know that a majority of their customers are driving enthusiasts, and i doubt driving enthusiasts want a car to do all the work for them, takes the fun out of driving. I realize that BMW is trying to gain market share away from Lexus, Audi and Mercedes (aka the non-enthusiast "yuppy brand snob"), but this is almost as bad as the Mercedes Benz commercial that's introducing the new electronic automajic saftey systems that brake/swerve the vehicle for you. In the commercial, the drivers are admitting to "almost falling asleep at the wheel" or "not realizing what was about to pull out in front of my car" etc...that's pretty much admitting your customer base is bored and falling asleep when driving your product, and/or they're idiots that don't pay attention to what they're doing while driving. If i were an ad exec in charge of Mercedes accounts, i would never allow that commercial to air....in my humble opinion...
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      04-06-2011, 02:14 PM   #7
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I must say this is a pretty great and innovative concept, however WTF BMW. Let's just add an option where the vehicle turns for you too. Then you can remove the optional steering wheel from your list to save money. This is a great idea, but BMWs are known for driver feel and involvement. I have a SAT in my car which is an automatic, and I can honestly say, 98% of my time behind the wheel has been using the paddle shifters. It's so much fun to shift yourself. Granted it's not a manual, but it still gives me somewhat of that feel. I can see this as an OPTION box, one that I think I will NEVER check.
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      04-06-2011, 02:25 PM   #8
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+ 1000!!!
My thoughts exactly. Just use the damn paddles. Just more crappy BMW electronics to go wrong and cause i$$ue$ for owners.
More technology not always better. I know a lot of us hate the push pull paddles on our cars, but reminds me I need to swap them to righ+ left- like in the M3 or 335is models now that I have a car with so much power and could really use these!
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      04-06-2011, 02:37 PM   #9
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That could be super annoying if the shifting isn't seamless.

"rrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrr"
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      04-06-2011, 02:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
That could be super annoying if the shifting isn't seamless.

"rrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrr"
Why would it not be any more or less seamless than driving an auto right now? Maybe because I'm one of those darned teenagers that's going to destroy the world one day I don't see this as a bad thing And I'm a total techie.
While I personally wouldn't use the auto mode for sportyness, the point of this is to keep the car's RPM's in the engine's "sweet spot". It wouldn't take much programming at all to have multiple modes. A sport mode would let it be a bit more rev happy, while an eco mode would let it use less gas. Pair this transmission with a diesel engine, tell the computer system to keep the car in the low RPM's for maximum torque, and you could have yourself a serious eco mode. Just my two cents.
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      04-06-2011, 03:03 PM   #11
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i'm not poo-ing on the technology, i'm poo-ing on BMW for marketing it the way they did......Again, in my opinion, it would have been in their better interest to raise the bar so to speak and mention this technology, but also mention that more than likely "it will be sold to other automakers since BMW's are driven by enthusiasts"...or something to that effect....they could jokingly mention something like "that's what the paddles are for" or make jest at the technology all the while mentioning their innovations, as redundant as they may seem....
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      04-06-2011, 03:04 PM   #12
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...maybe they should focus ion fixing their hpfp issues before working on other "redundant" technologies.....
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      04-06-2011, 03:09 PM   #13
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And fanbois were making fun of Merc and its 7-8 speed auto just a year ago
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      04-06-2011, 03:13 PM   #14
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so right!

Oh wait, I am on my 4th HPFP on a 3y/o car, 2nd set of fuel injectors, and 2nd set of Turbos. My brakes squeal like a pig being slaughtered and they can't seem to fix it, so they just blame brake dust! My car only has 27K miles now.

I love the car, but Gee BMW, fix your crappy reliability before all this pointless wiz bang me too technology. How much you want to bet this will be a future source of headaches?
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Last edited by vase330; 04-06-2011 at 03:18 PM.
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      04-06-2011, 03:16 PM   #15
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BMW brand needs to "shit or get off the pot" as far as I'm concerned, are they the ultimate driving machine, or are they the ultimate brand-poser machine....they keep going back and forth with their ads, they're "eco friendly", it's a "joy to drive", or in the past they were "ultimate driving machines" and now they're "ultimately driven by the machine"? They need to focus and get their message(s) straight....or maybe i'm too nit-picky.....still a blast to own and drive, don't get me wrong, it's just the marketing that irks me...
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      04-06-2011, 03:20 PM   #16
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i wouldn't take that bet, you're totally right...but from their point of view, i guess it could be job security....

Quote:
Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
so right!

Oh wait, I am on my 4th HPFP on a 3y/o car, 2nd set of fuel injectors, and 2nd set of Turbos. My brakes squeal like a pig being slaughtered and they can't seem to fix it, so they just blame brake dust! My car only has 27K miles now.

I love the car, but Gee BMW, fix your crappy reliability before all this pointless wiz bang me too technology. How much you want to bet this will be a future source of headaches?
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      04-06-2011, 03:50 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zell View Post
That could be super annoying if the shifting isn't seamless.

"rrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrr"
No kidding. As it is mine annoys me when it holds gears because it thinks I am about to punch the gas again, or holds a gear because the steering is at an at an angle through a long curve despite very gentle throttle input. You almost cant control the transmission with the throttle anymore, it thinks it knows better what you want.

I am fine with this technology, as long as I can turn it off.
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      04-06-2011, 04:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vase330 View Post
so right!

Oh wait, I am on my 4th HPFP on a 3y/o car, 2nd set of fuel injectors, and 2nd set of Turbos. My brakes squeal like a pig being slaughtered and they can't seem to fix it, so they just blame brake dust! My car only has 27K miles now.

I love the car, but Gee BMW, fix your crappy reliability before all this pointless wiz bang me too technology. How much you want to bet this will be a future source of headaches?
x2 good comment
Don't add any more shyt that will not work...
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      04-06-2011, 04:40 PM   #19
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The new transmission should throw my car into reverse and back up high speed "fast and furious" style if there's an imminent head on collision.
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      04-06-2011, 04:57 PM   #20
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BMW should team up with Stanford


This car will smoke all other cars on autox or the track. Driver who doesn't make errors
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      04-06-2011, 05:39 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xpander View Post
there is a simpler solution to all this. It is called manual transmission
^^^This^^^ X 1000000
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      04-06-2011, 06:35 PM   #22
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This is actually pretty cool, I can't wait till it comes out

Robert: YES.
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