Dual clutch automatic transmissions on modern cars are already cutting edge with them giving manual transmissions a run for their money when it comes to both performance as well as fuel economy. The only advantage really, that manual transmissions currently have over the tech packed dual clutch automatic transmission is that they offer much more driving pleasure by being involving to drive while also being relatively cheaper than the modern slush boxes. Now, Mercedes Benz, an automaker renowned for its innovations in automotive technology plans to push the automatic transmission envelope further.
A Daimler Actros truck with Predictive Powertrain Control transmission technology
The brand has now come out with an automatic transmission that works in conjunction with the GPS based cruise control to reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%. While 3% might not sound much, this much reduction in fuel consumption is indeed big deal for the transporter community, where every drop of fuel accrues into higher profits. While that is one angle of better fuel economy delivered by this new, technology packed transmission, the other angles of course are of conserving the rapidly depleting fossil reserves across the world and reducing the carbon footprint as lesser fuel burnt means lesser tail pipe emissions.
Mercedes Benz calls this latest automatic transmission technology paired to GPS based cruise control, Predictive Powertrain Control(PPC). Now, how this transmission works is quite interesting. Instead of the automatic transmission sensing the load on the engine and shifting gears, as is the case currently, the PPC equipped automatic gearboxes will sense the upcoming gradients or downward slopes through the GPS, thus allowing the transmission to react quicker as well as reduce gear changes to the minimum by directly slotting the right gear based on the topography.
This system, while currently being used on Daimler trucks will filter down to Mercedes Benz cars of the future. So, the Merc you buy in the future will not just feature a cutting edge automatic transmission but also an intelligent cruise control system that will make your car more fuel efficient than ever before. With Mercedes Benz leading the field, it is only a matter of time before other automakers join the fuel saving brigade with their own versions of the intelligent GPS based cruise control systems mated to automatic transmissions. Mechatronics as they say, is soon becoming the go-to option that automotive technology is now turning to for both performance as well as fuel economy.