Transmission Technology International features insight from IAAPS Engineering Director on future transmission technology

In a recent article in leading global transmission engineering title, Transmission Technology International, Rob Oliver, IAAPS Engineering Director, was invited to provide expert commentary on future light weighting and transmission technology developments.

Photo of detail of a gear stick in a car

Today’s powertrain development arena is dominated by the dual demands of tighter emissions regulations and the drive for economy and efficiency in today’s vehicles. A primary focus therefore for automotive powertrain engineers is to reduce vehicle weight across the board, including further development and optimisation of the transmission.

This is a key area of expertise for IAAPS Engineering Director, Rob Oliver and he strongly believes that simulation of the whole powertrain is essential to unlocking new gains for the transmission.

“The area that will carry most importance is systems modelling of the complete powertrain”

Rob’s view is that physical testing and validation will continue to be key, as resonances in the powertrain created as a result of the transmission light weighting wouldn’t be picked up when solely testing the gearbox as a standalone unit.

“Integrating the complete driveline system as a test rig that enables components to operate together in a realistic environment becomes critical”

Looking forward to future diversification of use cases and customer needs, smart automatic transmissions are currently under development. Rob believes that autonomous vehicle transmissions need to have different characteristics since driver “abuse” is no longer a factor to consider when engineering a product.

“Shift quality becomes critical and it is no longer acceptable to have a disruptive torque interruption. In addition, duty lifecycles will be known over the life cycle of the components.”

Research into future transmission developments will continue to be a key focus of the IAAPS team going forward. Rob concludes that these new performance parameters and design specifications indirectly present another opportunity to reduce the overall transmission weight.