CVT Will Dominate Autonomous Car Transmissions
Image source: gizmag.com
As global focus on (autonomous) self-driving cars gathers pace, the CVT, with its high efficiency and comfort has emerged as an ideal solution for the new age in automobile innovation.
Believe it or not, autonomous vehicles are around the corner.
Current investment in driverless technology by venture capitalists and major car manufacturers Ford, Volvo, Fiat, Tesla and BMW means that there is a good chance we might be cruising in self-driving cars sooner than we thought.
The massive enthusiasm around autonomous vehicles has also seen leading tech companies Google, Apple, Uber and Intel reportedly ploughing major investment into the emerging market. According to one CNN report, “2016 was the tipping point for excitement over driverless cars.”
An upsurge in autonomous driving technologies is great news for one particular piece of innovation, the continuously variable transmission or CVT. This is because CVT is arguably the most suitable type of transmission solution for driverless cars and most autonomous vehicle manufacturers will have no choice but to adopt the technology when they start manufacturing.
Compared to other forms of automobile transmission, CVT’s offer specific benefits of smooth driving, compactness and adaptability as well as complete control over the correct gearing ratio to be engaged in, making them ideal for autonomous vehicles where the driver less actively controls the vehicle. CVT’s also provide a high-level comfort which is essential in self-propelled automobiles.
In autonomous vehicles, it is important that a drive is as comfortable as possible because shifting might create discomfort to passengers. CVT’s, which are relatively silent offer smooth shifting and therefore great comfort.
Statistics from leading international CVT supplier Bosch, indicate that global annual production of CVT stands at 14 million units in 2017, up from 3 million units about 10 years ago. In the US, one out of five ATs being manufactured is a CVT and this share is expected to grow to one in four by 2020.
Demand for CVT’s has been boosted by their suitability for hybrid and pure electric vehicles, whose production and demand are on the rise across the globe as manufactures rapidly move towards introducing vehicles that produce lower carbon emissions.
South African IP company Varibox has created and patented a new ground-breaking multi-parallel power path CVT that is applicable in standard, hybrid and pure electric passenger vehicles.
The RADIALcvt innovation is very much scalable and has higher mechanical efficiency than other conventional CVTs currently on the market. Its key features include, a single friction drive interface in series, at least 6 power split friction drive parallel paths, a constant input radius on the friction drive input, a constant clamping force via springs (No hydraulic control system), as well as a very large radius variation on the friction drive output.
Although the RADIALcvt is currently suitable for hybrid and pure electric vehicles, Varibox plans to continuously develop its CVT technologies to ensure that they fully meet requirements for future applications including autonomous driving.
Download the RADIALcvt Prototype Testing and Simulation Document here.