BMW has filed a patent featuring technology that would make a vehicle complete a J-turn in style.
The patent officially filed was for a “method for controlling an automatic transmission,” where an electronic control unit will automatically shift the transmission from reverse into a neutral position before engaging the forward drive mode. Essentially, the technology would detect if the vehicle is traveling straight in a reverse gear speed at a speed higher than a predetermined value. If the car then experiences a defined steering jolt exceeding a defined rotational angle, the transmission will automatically go from reverse to neutral.
Once the vehicle detects the end of the rotational movement, the transmission will automatically go from neutral into a forward driving position, helping complete the J-turn with an automatic transmission.
At first glance, you would believe that the patent filing would be for an advanced safety feature of some sort, especially for semi-autonomous or even fully autonomous vehicles. In the situation that a car is going backwards on its own and the driver takes over, this would help ensure the vehicle transitions in a way that makes sense. But by the way it is described in the patent filing, BMW might be watching too many Ken Block Gymkhana videos and thinking all its drivers are 2 Fast 2 Furious.
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