Continuous Development & Refinements of the Automatic Transmission Not Only Improved it’s Driving but also come Lighter on the Consumers Pocket. Automatic Transmissions Better performance in the City Traffic & the Improved Mileage Figures Attracted Many Buyers

Hi Everyone Today We Will Talk About How Automatic Cars Become the New Trend

Last Year, 7% of All New Cars Sold in India had Expensive Automatic Transmission (AT), besides many more with Alternative CVT & AMT Gearboxes. Financiers say Automatic Variants of the Newly Launched Models are much in Demand. For instance, Half of All Innova Crysta, 20% of Hyundai Creta & 32% of Honda Jazz Cars Sold are Automatics. Even at the Budget End, 20% of Maruti WagonR & Alto, and 44% of Maruti Celerio Cars have Autoboxes.

While Traffic Chaos is an Old Problem, What has Changed is that Automatic Cars are Now Available for every Pocket and their Running Costs have Come Down. “Auto Transmission makes life easy, “Plus, the Fuel Efficiency is More or Less the Same as that of Manual Cars, and the New Models Don’t Suffer from Jerky Gear Changes either.” are the Statements of Many Automatic Car Owner’s

Sales of AT Cars Increased by 66% from 2014 to 2015, said Siddharth Jaiswal, Automotive Analyst with Market Research Firm Technavio that has Just Released its Global Automotive Torque Converter Market Report (2016-2020). “In 2015, Nearly 2,62,500 Passenger Cars Equipped with AT were Sold in India,” said Jaiswal, Adding that this Shows a Change in Mindset from Price & Fuel Economy to Convenience.

While the Technavio Report Sees India Becoming One of the Top Markets for Torque Converters, A Key Component of Automatic Transmissions, the Country is Not About to Catch Up with the US, Where 80% of Cars are Automatics, or even the Europe, Middle East-African Region that has 13% Automatic Cars. But India Shows a Promising Growth

While Automatic Transmission has been the Norm in Luxury Cars Mercedes-Benz Sells Only Automatic Cars in India, Jaiswal said Even Price Conscious Buyers are Choosing Convenience with the Cheaper AMT Option, Which is More Popular than AT & CVT.

What is A Transmission?

Generally Speaking, there are 2 types of Transmissions:

  1. Manual Transmissions: Which have a Foot Operated Clutch Pedal and a Shifter that Allows the Driver to Manually Change Gears.
  2. Automatic Transmission: Which Can Do All that for You, Without any Clutch Pedal or Gear Changing Lever

Manual Transmission:

Imagine 2 Flat Plates facing each other, One Connected to the Engine, the other to the Transmission and in Effect, to the Drive Wheels. When the Car is being Driven Down the Road, the 2 Plates are in Contact with One Another, thus Transferring the Rotational Force of the Engine to the Drive Wheels of the Car. When the Car Comes to a Stop, the Driver Presses Down on the Clutch Pedal, Which Separates the Plates & Allows the Engine to turn while the Wheels Don’t. To get Moving Again, the Driver Releases the Clutch Pedal, Which Allows the Plates to Go Back into Contact with One Another.

Automatic Transmission:

Automatic Transmission is Another way to Perform the Same Function but Without Human Interaction which is with a Torque Converter (Automatic Transmission). Imagine 2 Fan Blades Facing each other with just a Small Gap between them, One Fan Connected to the Engine, the Other to the Drive Wheels. If the Engine Driven Fan is Turned Very Slowly as when the Engine Idles the Air Current Coming Off of it isn’t Strong Enough to Make the other Fan Turn. But Once the Speed of the Driven Fan Increases, the Rush of Air Would Cause the Second Fan to Begin Rotating. A Torque Converter Works Much the Same Way, Except that Instead of Air it Uses an Oil like Fluid.

Who Invented the First Automatic Transmission?

The First Automatic Transmission Using Hydraulic Fluid may have been Developed in 1932 by 2 Brazilian Engineers, José Braz Araripe & Fernando Lehly Lemos; Subsequently the Prototype & Plans Were Sold to General Motors who Introduced it in the 1940 Oldsmobile as the “Hydra-Matic” Transmission.

Automatic Transmissions are More Complicated, and there are Now 4 Basic Types in Use:

  1. Conventional Automatic Transmission (AT)
  2. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
  3. Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)
  4. Dual Clutch Automated Manual Transmission

“Conventional” Automatic Transmission (AT)

The Current Generation of Conventional Automatics use a Torque Converter to Transfer Power from the Engine to the Transmission. The Transmission Itself typically Contains Several Sets of Gears, and the Different “Speeds” are chosen by Engaging Electronically Controlled, Hydraulically Operated Clutch Packs.

Conventional Automatic Gearboxes are Still Available in Many Models. Common Examples include the 8 Speeder Found in Most BMWs, Jaguars & Land Rovers, and the 9 Speeder which will Soon be Available in Many More.

Thanks to the Hydraulic Interface, Modern Automatics Usually Change Gear Smoothly. The Technology is also Proven, as Gearboxes of this type have been Around since the 1940s. However, a Traditional Automatic Gearbox will tend to Change Gear More Slowly than a Dual Clutch Gearbox, and it’ll Usually Make the Car Less Fuel Efficient.

Gear Selection in Automatic Transmissions Depends on Many Operational Conditions, such as Vehicle Speed, Engine Speed, Performance Mode Selected as Well as Driver Assist Systems such as Traction Control, Stability Control, Automatic/Autonomous Braking & Cruise Control. Provided All Necessary Conditions are Met, and there is Agreement between the Engine Management & Transmission Control Systems.

Advantages

  • Very Easy to Use
  • Provides a Comfortable Driving Experience
  • Modern Automatic Transmissions Match Manual Transmissions in terms of Performance & Fuel Economy

Disadvantages

  • Complex & Prone to Failures, Malfunctions, & Unsatisfactory Performance Due to a Variety of Possible Issues, Some of which are Unrelated to it Itself
  • More Expensive than a Manual Transmission to Maintain Over a Vehicle’s Lifetime
  • Expensive to Repair. Replacement is Often the More Cost Effective Option
  • Unsuitable for Use in Off-road Environments because it Cannot provide Engine Braking

Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)

Rather than Sets of Gears, CVTs Use a Belt that Runs between 2 Variable Diameter Pulleys to give a Wide Range of Ratios and a Smooth Transition between them. In Automotive Applications, Some CVTs use a Fluid Filled Torque converter (as with a Conventional Automatic Transmission ) to transfer Power from the Engine to the transmission, others a Clutch similar to that Used for a Manual Transmission, but with Automatic Activation (there is No Clutch Pedal).

The Advantage of a CVT is that the Engine can be Kept at its Most Efficient Speed while the transmission adjusts to changes in Load or Road Speed. Under Brisk Acceleration, For Example, the Engine Revs Up to where it Produces the Most Power and is Held there as the Transmission Constantly Adjusts to the Increasing Speed of the Car. Under Cruise Conditions, the Transmission can Adjust for Small Changes in Road Speed while the Engine is Kept at a Consistent RPM for Best Fuel Economy. A Limiting Factor is that because CVTs Rely on Friction between the Belt and the Pulleys, they haven’t yet been Designed to Handle a Lot of Power.

Unlike the other Transmissions CVT Doesn’t Use Gears, Instead of Gears, the System Relies on a Rubber or Metal Belt Running Over Pulleys that can Vary their Effective Diameters. To Keep the Belt at its Optimum Tension, One Pulley Will Increase its Effective Diameter, While the Other Decreases its Effective Diameter by Exactly the Same Amount. This Action is Exactly Analogous to the Effect Produced When Gears of Different Diameters are Engaged.

Since One Pulley is Driven by the Engine and the Other is Connected to the Drive Shaft, an Infinite Number of Ratios can be Produced. This Enables it to Always Run at the Most Efficient Speed, Regardless of the Load Placed on it. Microprocessor Controlled Sensors Quantify Load Variations and by Adjusting Both Pulleys, the Optimum Operating Speed for the Engine can be Maintained Without any Input from the Driver.

The Objective of a CVT is to have the transmission make Most of the Adjustments Necessary to Maintain Different Road Speeds while Letting the Engine turn at a Fairly Constant Speed, Which Results in About 10% Better Fuel Economy.

A CVT Maximizes Engine Power by letting the Engine Quickly Rev-up to where it makes More Power and then Holds it there while the Transmission Adjusts to the Car’s Increasing Road Speed. This Means the Engine is Held at a Steady, High Revving Speed where it usually Makes a lot of Noise and Sometimes is rather Ragged, and this is What is Most Obvious & Annoying to Many Drivers.

Advantages

  • Constant, Stepless Acceleration throughout the Engine’s Optimum Operating Range
  • Provides a Comfortable Ride by Eliminating “Shift Shock”
  • Better Fuel Efficiency
  • Faster Response to Changing Driving Conditions such as Variations in Throttle & Engine Speed
  • Eliminates Energy Losses Associated with Torque Converters.

Disadvantages

  • Unsuitable for Use in Off-road Environments because of Limited Torque Handling Ability.
  • Cannot Provide Engine Braking

Automated Manual Transmission (AMT)

Automated Manuals are More Efficient than Conventional Automatics because there’s No “Slip” of a Torque Converter and No Losses from Driving an Internal Hydraulic Pump.

There are 2 Types of Automated Manual Transmissions in Use:

  1. Single Clutch AMT
  2. Dual Clutch AMT

Dual Clutch AMT is the More Modern One, Which is Now Far More Commonly Used by the Manufactures.

The Earliest Versions which were Found Primarily in European Performance Cars were based on a Conventional Manual Transmission with a Single Clutch, Shifted in a rather Jerky Manner, which is What Prompted the Newer Dual Clutch type.

Both are essentially Manual Transmissions where the Clutch & Shift Actions are Carried Out by Computer Controlled, Electronically Activated Mechanisms, so they Work Without Driver Interaction, They can also be Shifted Manually (though Still Without the Driver using a Clutch) via a Conventional Gear Lever or Steering Column Mounted “Paddles.”

Also known as an “Automatic Manual” or “Clutchless Manual” Transmission, the Simplest Way to describe this type is to Call it a Hybrid between a Fully Automatic Transmission & Manual Transmission.

Similar to a Manual Transmission, Gears are Changed via a Simple Shifter or Paddles Located behind the Steering Wheel. However, there is No Need to Operate a Clutch Pedal. Processors, Sensors, Pneumatics & Actuators are All Used to “Automatically” Shift the Gears Once the Drive has Signalled the Change.

The Design of these Systems Varies, but All Semi-Automatic Transmissions Rely on Microprocessors to Control the Changing of Mechanical Gear Ratios with the Help of Electrically Operated Actuators & Servos. These Transmissions were Limited to High-end Supercars at First Due to their High Cost, but an Increasing Number of Manufacturers are Fitting them to Mid Range Cars.

Automated Manuals are Often Used in Performance Cars Today because they’re More Efficient than a Conventional Automatic Transmission, and can Handle Much More Power than a CVT.

Efficiency. Automated Manuals are often Credited with About a 10% Increase in Fuel Economy. Usually Better from a Performance Standpoint, as there’s Less Power Loss through an Automated Manual, and Under Hard Acceleration, they are Often Quicker to Upshift into the Next Gear.

Advantages

  • Smoother Shifting/Driving Experience
  • No Energy Losses Due to Slippage in Torque Converters, or during the Time Lag of Manual Shifts

Disadvantages

  • Complex & Prone to Failures, Malfunctions, & Unsatisfactory Performance Due to a Variety of Possible Issues, Some of which are Unrelated to the Transmission Itself
  • More Expensive to Maintain than a Manual Transmission
  • Very Expensive to Repair. Replacement is Often the More Cost Effective Option

Dual-Clutch Automated Manual Transmission

It Gets its Name from the Fact that there are 2 Gear Shafts One for the Odd Numbered Gears (1, 3, 5, 7), Another for the Even Numbered Gears (2, 4, 6) Each having its Own Clutch. When the Car Moves Off from a Stop, 1st Gear is Already Selected, and the “Odd” Clutch is Engaged to Start the Car Moving. While this is Going On, the Computer puts the other Gear Shaft into 2nd Gear. When it Comes time to shift to Second, the “Odd” Clutch Disengages and the “Even” Clutch Engages, and Now; You’re in Second Gear. It Does the Same with the Higher Gears, which are “Preselected” before the Clutch for that Shaft is Engaged. This Results in Much Quicker and Usually Much Smoother Gear Changes than with a “Single Clutch” Automated Manual.

A Dual Clutch Automatic Gearbox has, as its Name Suggests, 2 Clutches, though Don’t Imagine that there are 2 Clutch Pedals in the Car, the Whole thing is Operated Electronically & Controlled by Computers.

Most Dual Clutch Systems are able to Change Gear even More Quickly than a Human can with a Manual Gearbox. What’s more, Some Dual Clutch Systems are More Fuel Efficient than the Manual Alternative.

Dual Clutch Systems are rather Complex, and the Earliest are Still Only Around 10 Years old, so their Long term Reliability is Not yet Proven.

Branded Examples of Dual Clutch Automated Manual Transmissions Include Ford’s “PowerShift” Available in the Fiesta & Focus, and Porsche’s “PDK” Available in Several of the Maker’s Vehicles.

CVTs & Dual Clutch Automated Manuals Behave much the Same as Conventional Automatics in Everyday Driving, and the Goal is to Make them Nearly Indistinguishable, Except for a Noticeable Boost in Fuel Economy.

Sales Report Form Experts

Besides Crysta that launched in May, Toyota offers Autoboxes on Innova, Fortuner, Corolla Altis & Camry Cars. “Sales of AT Versions of Fortuner & Corolla Altis have Jumped from 35% to 50% & 25% to 50%, respectively, from 2012 to 2016. Camry & Camry Hybrid, which are only available in AT, are Doing Very Well,” said N Raja, Director & Senior VP Marketing & Sales, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.

“Automatics Make up 23% of Honda’s Jazz & City Sales, and 32% Counting Only Petrol Variants of the two”, said Janeshwar Sen, Senior VP-Marketing & Sales, Honda Cars India. “AT Now Comprises 25% of All Petrol Sales for Honda. Earlier, We had Only One AT Variant at the Top End, but the Growing Popularity of Automatic Transmission Prompted Us to Launch both Jazz & City with 2 AT Variants Each.” Said Janeshwar Sen.

Maruti Offers Auto Gearshift (AMT) in Celelrio, WagonR, Alto & Dzire, while Baleno has a CVT Variant. Its Ertiga & Ciaz Models have AT Options. In All, the Company’s 2 Pedal Volumes Went Up from 32,000 Units in FY 14-15 to 56,000 in FY 15-16. This Fiscal, it has Sold 18,200 Units in the April-June Period.

Hyundai has Rolled Out an AT Version of its SUV Creta in Petrol after the Diesel Automatic did Well. “Creta has the Highest Percentile (20%) but the Rest of Our Range Grand, i10, Verna, Elantra, Santa Fe & Accent are also Experiencing a Growing Preference for Automatic Transmission,” said Rakesh Srivastava, Senior Vice-President (Sales & Marketing), Hyundai Motor India.

“AMT is More Affordable & Fuel Efficient than Automatic Transmission, and there is a Completely New Set of Customers, who are either First time Car Buyers or Used to Driving Manual Transmission Only, that is Now Considering AMT,” said Pravin Shah, President & Chief Executive (Automotive), Mahindra & Mahindra.

“We have introduced AT in the XUV500, Scorpio & Rexton. Our TUV300 was the First SUV in India with AMT technology and We have also Introduced AMT in the Recently Launched NuvoSport” Shah Added.

While AMT Technology is Converting Buyers,

Auto Expert Hormazd Sorabjee said

CVT IS THE BEST BET. “IT IS THE MOST RESPONSIVE, FUEL EFFICIENT & ALSO VERY SMOOTH IN TERMS OF DRIVEABILITY.”

AT IS MORE EXPENSIVE & LESS FUEL EFFICIENT.

AMT DOES NOT OFFER AS SMOOTH A DRIVE.

WHICH AUTOMATIC TO BUY

FOR A CAR PRICED AROUND 4,00,000

Price Differential Between Manual to Automatic Variants are as Follows

AT

CVT

AMT

1,00,000

80,000

40,000

Companies Offering Various Transmissions

Companies

AT

CVT

AMT

Maruti

Available

Available

Available

Hyundai

Available

NA

NA

Honda

Available

Available

NA

Toyota

Available

NA

NA

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