Looking at India’s Increasing traffic congestion & poor road condition, most of the manufacturers are offering automatic transmission for their entry level hatch to mid-size sedan models with slightly higher price compared to manual option. Indian car buyers too migrating gradually to these automatic variants as they don’t have to fiddle with clutch pedal anymore and get stress free driving in start/stop traffic.
If we dive-In to the technology of all these automatic transmission from various manufacturers then, we can conclude all are deploying some new piece of tech for achieving clutch-less transmission instead of conventional automatic transmission, this new tech is known as Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) or Auto Gear Shift (AGS).
|AMT Gear Stick (Image Source: Tata)|
This technology allows manufacturer to use the same old manual transmission and put a smart attachment to it which can control the manual transmission electronically thus providing driver a comfort of pure automatic car.
Reason for low pricing of AMT compared to conventional automatic: As manual transmission box is kept the same and extra AMT set-up is included which adds-up little to the cost of manual variant, resulting in AMT to be slightly on the pricey side. Where as in conventional automatic car, manual transmission box is completely ditched over for automatic transmission box which deploys torque converter for engaging gears which is a costly set-up.
Working of AMT:
Clutch pedal is removed from AMT enabled cars as engaging/disengaging of clutch happens electro-mechanically using actuator which is controlled by transmission control unit (TCU).
Based on the driving condition, engine operating condition & drivers need, Intelligent electronic unit i.e, TCU engages the required gear automatically.
Sometimes AMT cars get option to drive in manual mode were driver has control over selecting gears manually in that case, only clutch engagement/disengagement is taken care automatically by this system as it senses driver is trying to change gears.
|Image Source: ZF|