BMW just announced its plan of a new adaptive transmission based on its current eight-speed transmission at its annual Innovation Days in Munich. The adaptive transmission is able to predicts curves, road conditions to help the transmission to automatic downshift or upshift as needed.
The adaptive transmission is linked to a GPS mapping, a wireless data connection, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), front and rear-mounted cameras and radar sensors to gather data so it can adapt its shifting pattern and power delivery to suit road conditions.
Utilizing the data supplied by the navigation system, the adaptive system can figure out the radius of a curve before it is neared. Based on this data, the adaptive transmission control system then decides whether to accelerate or deccelerate to provide a smooth driving out of the curve. Additionally, information is given by cameras and radar sensors and pertaining to the traffic situation ahead of the vehicle will let driver to manually accelerate or use the brake ahead of time before approaching an obstacle.
It is likely the adaptive transmission system will be first used in the high-end models such as the BMW 7 Series sedan or 6 Series.