Even though automakers are slowly moving away from manual transmissions, that hasn’t stopped Bosch Automotive from developing a new technology to eliminate accidental stalling in manual transmissions.
The new system, called eClutch, is not only designed to make stalling a thing of the past, but can make stop-and-go traffic tolerable while improving fuel economy in a manual-equipped vehicle. The eClutch replaces a traditional clutch-hydraulic master cylinder with an electrically-operated pump that automatically engages the clutch. If the driver lets the clutch out too quickly, the eClutch will intefere to prevent a stall from occurring.
In low-speed situations, namely first and second gear, the eClutch is capable of working the clutch without input from the driver. Of course the driver still needs to move the shifter, but it does take out some of the legwork when sitting in traffic.
To help improve fuel efficiency, Bosch claims that the eClutch can automatically shut off the engine and decouple it from the transmission during coasting situations. According to Bosch, this could help improve fuel efficiency by as much as 10 percent.
Most importantly for automakers, the eClutch system has the technology to coordinate the operation of a standard gasoline engine with an electric motor in a full-hybrid powertrain. Currently, manual transmissions are only available in simpler hybrid systems such as Honda‘s Integrated Motor Assist.
Bosch also announced that the eClutch costs “significantly less than a conventional automatic transmission.”