Hyundai & Kia Develop World’s First Predictive Automatic Transmission


Hyundai and Kia have filed around 40 major patents while developing the ICT Connected Shift System in South Korea and abroad

Hyundai Motor Company and its subsidiary Kia Motors have together developed the world’s first predictive Information and Communication Technology (ICT) connected automatic transmission system that enables the vehicle to identify the road and traffic conditions ahead, and automatically shift to the optimal gear based on that.

As claimed by Hyundai, the ICT connected transmission improves driving comfort along with fuel efficiency by minimizing unnecessary gear-shifting through predictive shift control system. Rest assured, the automatic shifts will rely on the ‘Smart’ drive mode available in the latest cars from Hyundai and Kia, which optimises the performance of the car based on how you are driving.

ICT Connected Shift System, as it is being dubbed, makes use of an intelligent software equipped in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) which collects and interprets real-time input from other technologies, including 3D navigation, cameras and the radar used for smart cruise control.


The 3D navigation informs the system about the elevation, gradient, curvature and other road events including the current traffic conditions. The radar detects the speed and distance between the vehicle and other objects, while the forward-looking camera provides lane information.

When inputs from these three technologies is combined and sent to the TCU, the system predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm and shifts the gears accordingly.

Hyundai says that it tested a vehicle equipped with the ICT Connected Shift System on a heavily curved road, and concluded that the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by about 43%, while the frequency of braking was reduced by about 11%, as compared to vehicles without the system.

Vehicles are evolving beyond simple mobility devices into smart mobility solutions. Even a traditional area of the automobile, such as the powertrain, is becoming a high-tech technology optimized for smart mobility through efforts to integrate ICT and artificial intelligence technologies,” said Mr Byeong Wook Jeon, Head of Intelligent Drivetrain Control Research Lab.

While Hyundai and Kia might start rolling out the ICT Connected Shift System with their foreign-spec vehicles in the near future, a system like this is still years, if not decades, away from our country, which is still healthily dominated by stick shifts.