The automatic transmission hasn’t changed that much over the years besides the addition of a lot more gears. Well Hyundai and Kia have revealed a new automatic transmission that automatically shifts to the optimal gear after checking out the road and traffic conditions ahead.

How does it work? The ICT Connected Shift System uses intelligent software in the Transmission Control Unit (TCU) that collects and interprets real-time data from the 3D navigation, cameras and radar to select the ideal gear. The TCU predicts the optimal shift scenario for real-time driving situations through an artificial intelligence algorithm.

So how does it really work? Well Hyundai and Kia have provided an example when a relatively long slow down is expected and radar detects no speed irregularities with the car ahead, the transmission clutch temporarily switches to neutral mode to improve fuel efficiency.

In Hyundai’s tests with an ICT Connected Shift System on a heavily curved road, the frequency of shifts in cornering was reduced by approximately 43 percent compared to vehicles without the system. The system also reduced the frequency of brake operation by approximately 11 percent, thereby minimizing driving fatigue and brake wear.

Hyundai and Kia plan to introduce the new ICT technology in its future vehicles, but we don’t have a timeframe.