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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:40   #1
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Default WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

WABCO, a supplier of technologies to improve the safety and efficiency of commercial vehicles, demonstrated its automated manual transmission (AMT) for trucks & buses at its test track in Chennai. Their AMTs are available in 5 to 16 speed configurations.

WABCO’s AMT automatically engages the vehicle’s clutch and gear shift actuation. It takes into account the driver’s operation, engine torque, vehicle load and road inclination, resulting in optimized gear shifting, which increases fuel economy (up to 5%) for trucks and buses.

AMT systems also free drivers from frequent shifting, reducing their stress and fatigue on long highway drives. AMT makes things easy for less experienced drivers. In Europe, more than 60% of trucks adopt AMT solutions.

WABCO's AMT (also called OptiDrive) is engineered as a modular system. It reduces the development time required for vehicle & transmission makers to apply the AMT to their platforms.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 11:08   #2
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

is the one offered in Ashok Leyland Light Trucks from WABCO?
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Old 24th May 2014, 13:04   #3
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

Hello!

Having driven AL's BOSS vehicle 1213 variant ( 130 HP CRS Mated with 6 speed GB+ AMT), i can say that the system works very well.

A few more details

3 buttons are present on the selector lever in the cabin.

(C)- Crawler- holds 1st and second gear only. Useful for overload application on ghat sections. Torque delivery is immediate, no lag noticeable.

(E/P)- Ecomomy/Power. Self explanatory. Gear shifts happen faster and at lower RPM. Power mode for single lane driving where the full torque band has to be used for overtaking.

(M/A) Very interesting to use. Al la Tiptronic systems in cars, pushing the selector lever forward shifts up and down, vice-versa. The shifting isn't DSG fast (haha) but immediate enough. I'd put that down to the fact that the GB is is still manual, but the selector assembly is mated to two pneumatic lines that do the shifting by pushing the selector plates into required position. The pneumatic transmission is really no match for faster electronic responses on cars.

Overall: Superb driving experience. Market perception is another issue all together. Drivers whom I showed this vehicle to were shocked to see the lack of a clutch pedal and therefore apprehensive of the way it would drive, lower mileage and higher engine power. After a few kilometers of driving though, most of them were completely sold. I'd say higher cost is the only thing stopping chaalak-maalaks from buying the vehicle.

It's good to see the Cv industry taking huge steps forwards like this.


Feel free to ask about the AMT system. I shall do my best to answer any queries

ninjaedit: @DWind: yup it is a WABCO system

Last edited by Nitronium : 24th May 2014 at 13:06.
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Old 24th May 2014, 15:13   #4
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

What is impact on fuel economy?
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Old 24th May 2014, 16:08   #5
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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What is impact on fuel economy?
The main purpose of developing AMT's is to provide Auto experience without having any impact on FE. So, there shouldn't be any significant impact in FE when compared to the regular Manual boxes.

Using manual gear boxes is not that difficult. But in trucks, i would prefer to have a good power steering + Better braking system in place rather than having AMT's.

Steering those monstrous trucks which are often overloaded and without having a power steering is very difficult. I think manufacturers should emphasize on providing electric steering, safety to drivers, and on Better brakes. Once this is accomplished 100%, then we could go further for AMT's, ABS, EBD's and Auto boxes.

And the government should ensure that these basic gadgets go into all production vehicles.
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Old 25th May 2014, 09:51   #6
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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But in trucks, i would prefer to have a good power steering + Better braking system in place rather than having AMT's.
Power steering is a must-have for I/HCVs, it's mandated by law. So is dual-circuit braking lines. All tractor-trailers and trucks carrying hazardous substances (gas, oil tankers etc) have ABS, again CMVR mandated.

AMT reduces driver fatigue and it's a step in the right direction to improve road safety.
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Old 25th May 2014, 19:43   #7
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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Power steering is a must-have for I/HCVs, it's mandated by law. So is dual-circuit braking lines. All tractor-trailers and trucks carrying hazardous substances (gas, oil tankers etc) have ABS, again CMVR mandated.

AMT reduces driver fatigue and it's a step in the right direction to improve road safety.
Absolutely. Exactly what I came here to say. All CV manufacturers have to equip their vehicles with Power Steering. More over, no driver is willing to buy a truck without it (stress/fatigue considerations)

@sudev: Regarding FE- On long routes that include national highways the FE is the same/marginally less. On single lane driving where gear utilization is best decided by the driver, there is a 10-11% drop in mileage.
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Old 26th May 2014, 09:38   #8
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Absolutely. Exactly what I came here to say. All CV manufacturers have to equip their vehicles with Power Steering. More over, no driver is willing to buy a truck without it (stress/fatigue considerations)
I don't know about other states, in Kerala you won't get drivers for trucks and buses (any size/tonnage/type) if the vehicle is not equipped with power steering

Quote:
Regarding FE- On long routes that include national highways the FE is the same/marginally less. On single lane driving where gear utilization is best decided by the driver, there is a 10-11% drop in mileage.
I thought AMT is best suited for situations that require frequent gear changes and they improve FE. Had heard of KPN and VRL drivers extracting better FE in their AL 12Ms fitted with Leymatic. IIRC, some of the KPN buses were retrofitted with the AMT for user trials/feedback a few years ago by AL.
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Old 26th May 2014, 11:33   #9
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
Regarding FE- On long routes that include national highways the FE is the same/marginally less. On single lane driving where gear utilization is best decided by the driver, there is a 10-11% drop in mileage.
I am not going to contest your data but could it be possible that there is a drop in mileage because drivers were less aggressive / lethargic while using manual transmission when compared to AMT where they had to just concentrate on steering the vehicle during overtake and not worry about the powerband?
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Old 26th May 2014, 12:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitronium View Post
...@sudev: Regarding FE- On long routes that include national highways the FE is the same/marginally less. On single lane driving where gear utilization is best decided by the driver, there is a 10-11% drop in mileage.
Although none of the system can match best drivers fuel performance, AMT has proven to enhance fleet fuel performance between 5% to 7%.This is because of the reason no matter who drives the gear utilization and gear changing frequency is same for the said terrain and is derived form the software which is further finetuned for fuel performance yet without compromising performance. When you have a fleet of 300+ vehicles and is driven by atleast 600 odd drivers, driving pattern is going to be different. Some are best, many are better and few may be worst. Now wit AMT in place the nominal curve becomes narrower and gives very less spread. This translates to huge cumulative savings and is recurring.
That's the underlining selling point here. VRL is the first company to understand this logic when Ashokleyland launched Leymatic for 12M.

Also now GoI is mandating AMT or AT fir city buses produced post April 2015 when purchased under JNnurm.
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Old 27th May 2014, 17:04   #11
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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Originally Posted by DWind View Post
I am not going to contest your data but could it be possible that there is a drop in mileage because drivers were less aggressive / lethargic while using manual transmission when compared to AMT where they had to just concentrate on steering the vehicle during overtake and not worry about the powerband?
The data for AMTs over long routes (Intercity buses and trucks on GQ/NH routes) shows that the mileage figures are nearly the same owing to the use of overdrive gear for more than 60% of trip distance. Personally, I have not travelled for too long a distance in AMT equipped vehicles(entire trip), but I can assure you that the system is designed to ensure there is no engine lugging, which requires shifting at marginally higher RPMs than our drivers who look to shift up earlier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley2 View Post
Although none of the system can match best drivers fuel performance, AMT has proven to enhance fleet fuel performance between 5% to 7%.This is because of the reason no matter who drives the gear utilization and gear changing frequency is same for the said terrain and is derived form the software which is further finetuned for fuel performance yet without compromising performance. When you have a fleet of 300+ vehicles and is driven by atleast 600 odd drivers, driving pattern is going to be different. Some are best, many are better and few may be worst. Now wit AMT in place the nominal curve becomes narrower and gives very less spread. This translates to huge cumulative savings and is recurring.
That's the underlining selling point here. VRL is the first company to understand this logic when Ashokleyland launched Leymatic for 12M.

Also now GoI is mandating AMT or AT fir city buses produced post April 2015 when purchased under JNnurm.
As replied to DWind, the mileage over longer routes is identical/superior to manual transmission based on how much of the distance is travelled in top gear and how severely the acc pedal is depressed in order to achieve cruising speed.

The AMT system uses the following major inputs to decide shifting patterns:
1) Engine RPM
2) Vehicle Speed
3) Boost pressure sensor (engine load measurement)
4) Acc pedal position (potentiometric reading)

The system has no 'eyes' as such and depends on live data to instantaneously decide when to shift up/down. As a result, on crowded single lane/NH corridors, gear shifting according to traffic ahead is more intelligent when a driver is in charge.
Eg: A driver looking to overtake 3 slow moving trucks will drop the gear from 6th to 4th and rev till the red band based on his knowledge of how much power is required. The AMT computer may shift into a gear lower than 4th if the speed is low enough but catch only the end portion of the power band and subsequently shift to 4th resulting in a larger amount of fuel consumed.

As is the case with any new technology, there is a learning curve, and the hope is that more and more drivers learn how to effectively use AMT and match and even exceed their manual transmission mileage figures!

EDIT: TRUE! Having AMT is our crowded cities would be the best thing for bus drivers since...well, Sachin Tendulkar since I can't think of anything else

Last edited by Nitronium : 27th May 2014 at 17:08.
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Old 5th December 2014, 18:31   #12
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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is the one offered in Ashok Leyland Light Trucks from WABCO?
Yes it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
What is impact on fuel economy?
As rightly mentioned by Ashely in an earlier post, the biggest benefit of AMT is for a fleet where you have a driver mix. So immaterial of who drives the vehicle, the system will give pretty much the same FE.

If the driver is confident that he can get a better FE than the system, then he can always switch the mode to "manual" and can drive the vehicle like a manual transmission without a clutch pedal. Here, all he needs to do is to tap the gear lever to select the gear (like how we do in manual mode in NFS). In this manner you get better control over the vehicle behavior and also much more comfort (since there is no clutch pedal and shifting of gear is only a tap).
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Old 5th December 2014, 18:59   #13
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

That's interesting. No doubt it will be a boon to the drivers with less stress of shifting.

Today in the ghat sections or inclines - you could use the E way ghat for example - when a truck upshifts, there is a momentary loss of momentum as the first gear disengages and the second is engaged. This loss of momentum is sufficient for a car's driver to revv up and past the truck.

With the AMT if this loss of momentum is minimized, it will eliminate this small overtaking window - as a result with three trucks hogging all lanes, you will have to sit behind one till you get a clear lane.
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Old 5th December 2014, 19:19   #14
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

I think AMT in trucks should be used in different modes situation based rather than in Automatic mode all the time.

For example like you rightly said, if the driver is overtaking some trucks the fuel consumption might increase if the computer decides the shifts. These are the times when manual mode could be used to gain complete control of the shifts and again be put into automatic mode when he is done with the overtaking.

Also this concept has never come up in any truck in the world, paddle shifter should be provided in trucks behind the steering wheel so that both his hands remain on the steering wheel even while he is driving in manual mode. Paddle shifters cost almost nothing to add, but from the safety point of view it could be an immense add on. Imagine using the paddle shifters to change gears on ghat roads, both of your hands will always remain on the steering with slight taps to downshift during a hairpin turn while going up or down.
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Old 19th December 2014, 18:03   #15
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Default Re: WABCO India demos Automated Manual Transmission for Trucks & Buses

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Also this concept has never come up in any truck in the world, paddle shifter should be provided in trucks behind the steering wheel so that both his hands remain on the steering wheel even while he is driving in manual mode. Paddle shifters cost almost nothing to add, but from the safety point of view it could be an immense add on. Imagine using the paddle shifters to change gears on ghat roads, both of your hands will always remain on the steering with slight taps to downshift during a hairpin turn while going up or down.
This concept is not new. European trucks have had AMT system ever since the 80's. The option of selecting gears are also available in most of the AMT's. They may not be like a paddle shifter like in cars but maybe like a stalk or a shift lever itself. In India you can find them in the Volvo I-Shift, Scania OptiCruise and the new Leyland's JAN Bus, Boss, etc.
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