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Smart Transmission: maximizing your car's fuel efficiency

Posting in Energy

Navigation systems are usually intended to get drivers from point A to point B. But what if your car's system were specifically geared towards getting you better fuel economy on the way to your destination?

BMW has developed a navigation-based transmission control and Foresight Assistant to do just that. The system considers uphills and downhills along a route, as well as speed limits and even the car's turn radius around a corner, to give drivers the best fuel economy.

The automaker's Predictive Power Management system can channel information from the car's navigation system, as well as from sensors throughout the vehicle, and can select the optimal gear to prioritize either fuel economy or spirited driving. The car is then able to downshift ahead of a roundabout, and shift back up as the car starts to accelerate again. BMW claims that this 'Eco Pro' mode can increase fuel efficiency by up to 25 percent.

In 'Sport' mode, the car will shift faster, break efficiently and only as necessary, and eliminate the need for unnecessary gear shifting.

According to Wired, the technology is likely to be part of BMW's new line of hybrid and electric vehicles - the first of which, the i3, is expected to hit the market in late 2013.

Photo: BMW

via [Wired]

— By on September 23, 2012, 8:00 PM PST

Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure