The variety of transmissions available in the market today has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, all while increasing in complexity. The effect is certainly that we are now dealing with a varied amount of transmission types including manual, regular automatic, automated manual, dual clutch, continually variable, split power and genuine EV.
Until very recently, automotive vehicle manufacturers largely had two types of transmission to select from: planetary automatic with torque converter or conventional manual. Today, nevertheless, the volume of choices available demonstrates the adjustments seen over the industry.

This is also illustrated by the countless various kinds of vehicles now being manufactured for the market. And not merely conventional vehicles, but also all electric and hybrid vehicles, with each type needing different driveline architectures.

The traditional development process involved designing a transmission in isolation from the engine and the rest of the powertrain and vehicle. Nevertheless, this is changing, with the limitations and complications of this method becoming more widely recognized, and the continuous drive among manufacturers and designers to provide optimal efficiency at reduced weight and cost.

New powertrains feature close integration of components like the prime mover, recovery systems and the gearbox, and also rely on highly advanced control systems. This is to assure that the best degree of efficiency and performance is delivered at all times. Manufacturers are under increased pressure to create powertrains that are completely new, different from and much better than the last version-a proposition that’s made more technical by the necessity to integrate brand components, differentiate within the market and do everything on a shorter timescale. Engineering groups are on deadline, and the advancement process needs to be more efficient and fast-paced than previously.
Until now, the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE) has been the most common way to develop drivelines. This process involves parts and subsystems designed in isolation by silos within the business that lean toward proven component-level analysis equipment. While these are highly advanced tools that allow users to extract extremely reliable and accurate data, they are still presenting data that is collected without thought of the complete system.

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