Discovery Guides Areas


Automotive Transmissions: Efficiently Transferring Power from Engine to Wheels
(Released January 2008)

  by Chao-Hsu Yao  


Key Citations




The Future Development of
Automotive Transmission Systems


It is likely that, with the progress of new material technology, the CVT will gradually replace the conventional automatic transmission due to its high fuel efficiency and smooth gear shift. The technology of semi-automatic transmission systems will also be improved to perform smooth gear shift and extend the cars' lifetime, without losing fast acceleration and fuel efficiency. The torque converter with fluid coupling may be improved, or may no longer be used for cars in the future due to its low-efficiency power transfer. The gear shift of the manual transmission will be controlled by computer instead of engaging/disengaging the clutch and moving the gear selector by hand. For some modern cars, using push-buttons behind the steering wheel, instead of a conventional shift lever or stick, also saves gear shift time when shifting manually. An adaptive transmission control (ATC) has also been invented by using a computer to recognize and memorize different drivers' styles, and determining the best shifting timing for different drivers. As mentioned in the Introduction, a transmission system is needed for a vehicle due to the internal combustion engine's property of running at high pressure at high speed but low pressure at low speed. If someday an engine with different properties is invented, the transmission system may no longer be necessary, but can still get the vehicle to reach its maximum speed in a couple of seconds.

© 2008, ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved.


  1. "Steam Engine Invented," Antique Farming.

  2. "How Steam Engines Work?" HowStuffWorks, Inc.

  3. "Steam Engine Operation, " HowStuffWorks, Inc.

  4. "Self-Adjusting Clutch Mechanism," PatentStorm LLC.

  5. "Double Clutch," Wikipedia.

  6. "Semi-Automatic Transmission," Wikipedia Foundation, Inc.

  7. "How Automatic Transmission Works?" HowStuffWorks, Inc.

  8. Charles Ofria, "A Short Course on Automatic Transmission," The Family Car Web. Magazine,

  9. "Internal-Combustion Engine," Answers Corporation

  10. "How Two-Stroke Engines Work?" HowStuffWorks, Inc.

  11. "How Car Engines Work?" HowStuffWorks, Inc.

  12. "Magura Motorcycle Components," Sand Wizards Racing.