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A continuing trend in the auto industry is the push to improve efficiency in just about every aspect of your car. Embracing this trend, Hyundai and Kia have announced a joint venture to create a truly revolutionary shifting system known as predictive shifting.

What is Predictive Shifting?

Known more formally as Information Communication Technology (ICT) Connected Shift System, Predictive Shifting uses a combination of cameras and sensors mounted on the vehicle and traffic data from a range of sources to proactively upshift or downshift your vehicle based on the traffic conditions around you. The purpose of this is to improve overall fuel efficiency and reduce mechanical wear on the transmission and its associated parts. Currently, automatic transmissions shift based on overall vehicle speed and engine RPM which can result in reduced fuel efficiency on winding roads or when accelerating into traffic. Basically, predictive shifting picks the best gear for upcoming road conditions and smoothly slots into gear without any input from the driver.

What Is Predictive Shifting?

How Does It Help?

There are several key benefits behind the proposed ICT system that make it not only appealing to automakers but also a huge benefit to drivers.

  • Improved Gas Mileage: As mentioned above conventional transmissions shift in response to engine RPM and overall speed. As a result, they don’t always shift in the most efficient manner, ICT helps ameliorate this issue.
  • Reduced Brake Wear: More efficient gear shifting results in less of a need to apply the brakes which will reduce the overall wear. A study by Hyundai recorded an 11% reduction in brake use during testing with the ICT system.
  • Reduced Transmission Wear: In the same study by Hyundai the ICT system shifted gears 43% less frequently on heavily curved roads, which helps reduce wear on fragile components like gear teeth which could save drivers from expensive mechanic visits down the road.

Predictive shifting is still in development with no word yet on which models will be featuring this revolutionary technology, though Hyundai has announced plans to incorporate it into their Smart Drive mode. Stay tuned for more info as it becomes available and check out some of our other articles on future tech.

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