The car transmission had been innovated and continuously improved to serve the end user better in term of performance and the fuel saving factor. They are some of the best transmission that will be fixed by the car manufacturer in their car like the CVT, ZF 8HP Transmission, Dual Clutch Transmission, manual torque converter, and in some car the nostalgic manual transmission. The transmission speed had been increased with the continuous improvement from the car engineer from 4 speeds or 5 speeds in the past to the current standard 6 speed to 9 speeds. Cars like the Chrysler, Land Rover, Honda CR-V European model, and FIAT have the current limit for the transmission speed the ZF 9HP Transmission.
Since the engineer is constantly pushing the limit for the car transmission, the speed of the car transmission can be increased in the future. Previously Volkswagen Group had announced they will like to create a 10 speed DSG transmission but had dropped later as they found the mechanical complexity and the cost of the building are over the top and they had decided to discontinue the project. The German transmission manufacturer ZF had announced the 9 speed is the limit for the car but other car manufacturer had another idea.
Honda Motors who is famed for creating some innovation that was not in the other car had developed the world first 10-speed transmission in a front wheel drive for their European model Honda Odyssey. Where the Volkswagen Group had given up due to mechanical complexity Honda engineer had found a way to reduce the size of the transmission in this speed and made it perfectly fit in the frame rail. The development of a 10-speed transmission is not only pioneered by Honda but also by Mercedes-Benz, Ford and General Motors(GM).
The 3-car manufacturer had one more technology in their research and development. Volkswagen Group had installed the Dual Clutch Transmission in most of their models like Volkswagen, Audi, Bugatti, and Porsche. But for the future, the dual clutch is deemed not enough and the 3 of them will like to make another breakthrough in the transmission technology Triple Clutch Transmission. Honda had shocked the automotive world when they had patented the triple clutch with 11 speeds in 2016. Why does the transmission manufacturer want to an additional clutch? Honda had said that the 3rd clutch can be used to drop the torque and will result in faster gear change in the future and a better fuel economy. Maybe sooner or later either 3 of this car manufacturer will launch their world first car with a triple clutch transmission. We can wait and see.
But with the ever-popular hybrid car and the electric car, the transmission can be totally different than in the present, or is it? With the current turmoil in the Middle East and the instability of the fuel price, the hybrid and the electric car may not need to create a new type of transmission but modifying and upgrade the current transmission to suit their car. Enter the CVT. The CVT is one of most unlike transmission for the car lovers as it does not provide the drama and thrilling of the gear shifting like the manual transmission or the DCT but it provides a fuel saving due to nature of it design that can provide an instant speed with a lower RPM. In the current Toyota Hybrid, the transmission is a planetary gear set that is called by Toyota as E-CVT. Due to least complexity of fixing the CVT it maybe the choice of the car manufacturer for their hybrid and their electric car. Due to the advantage that CVT provides, GM had decided to fix more of this type of transmission on their smaller and mid-size sedan in the future.
In the future, maybe it will the end for one of the transmission main component the clutch. Like the manual transmission whom sooner or later will be in the history book the clutch also can have the similar fate. Dan Dorsch a Ph.D. candidate and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had made an innovate breakthrough in his research.
He had created a transmission with interlocking teeth that does not use friction like the clutch and his design had significantly reduced the size, weight, and most importantly the friction losses. In his design, they are 2 electrical motors were one which is the large size and another one is small size. The larger one provides an uninterrupted torque and while the smaller one will make sure the transmission matching the engine speed. Impressed by this a “leading performance car company” has decided to develop his research prototype and if it had been successful then the clutch may be an unwanted component anymore in the transmission mechanism. Although his design is for the sports car if the design had been successful, then it can be implemented in all the car.
The transmission of the future can see the increase of the gear speed, faster shifting time, a new mechanical design, and an improved present transmission. With the inclusion of the hybrid car and also the electric car, the transmission of the future can also be an all electrically controlled transmission compares to the current mechanical design. Honda had patented the triple clutch transmission, Mercedez Benz and GM too had involved in this race of the creating the world first triple clutch transmission which a double-digit gear transmission.
As mentioned before some of car the manufacturer had dropped the idea of making a double-digit transmission like Volkswagen Group and BWM who wanted to create a 15-speed transmission in their car but unfortunately both had dropped this idea but other car manufacturer had continuously tried to break the limit of the transmission speed so it can be a reality in the future. The transmission of the future can also be a transmission that does not use the clutch or a fully electrical transmission using the CVT gearbox. Whatever the transmission of the future will it is to provide the end user a better performance, faster gear shifting, and a better fuel economy.