Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

All the news that's fit to shift.
Post Reply
User avatar
Standardshifter
Site Admin
Posts: 868
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 11:23 am
Cars: 2005 Legacy GT, Buell
Location: Boston, MA
Contact:

Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by Standardshifter »

"The patent claims the point of this innovation is to give "many people, especially driving enthusiasts ... the increased driver interaction" of a manual, without "the negative attributes" of doing a calf raise every time a new gear is needed. "

https://www.autoblog.com/2022/02/06/for ... on-patent/

Is a manual really a manual without the clutch pedal? Is this a way to have a clutch pedal AND be an automatic at the same time?
-Standardshifter
Shifting the Standard of Automotive Websites
Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 11480
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by Rope-Pusher »

Tummy, the article doesn't talk enough about the system. Is it really an "Automated Manual Transmission", or is it a "Manual Transmission with an Automated Clutch Release", or is it a "Manual Transmission with the clutch release controlled manually through the shift knob"? Dual-Clutch transmissions are really a different thing. You would need two left legs if you tried to drive them in a true Amish method (and two shift knobs)

If it is a conventional Amish transmission and only the clutch release system has been replaced with something that operates based on sensors in the shifter knob I don't know if that is such a hot idea. Besides one-legged people that are just dying to drive Amish, who benefits from this?

I'd really have to think about what surfaces of the shift knob I might not be touching / applying pressure to as I shift. I grip and apply force to the shift knob in my car in a different manner depending on what gear range I am shifting into / out of.

I had a friend once (I know, difficult to believe, but it is true) who owned a VW Beetle with the Automatic Stickshift. If I remember correctly, the shift knob was mounted to the shifter lever through a pivot pin. If you pushed or pulled on the knob above the pivot point, the knob tilted forward or backward and an electrical microswitch was activated, which controlled an electrically actuated clutch. It didn't modulate the clutch engagement, but there was a fluid coupling that allowed the vehicle to idle in gear, slipping enough to be held in position by the brake pedal, and transmitting torque for a smooth launch. I would think that the fluid coupling degraded the fuel mileage due to constant slippage. My friend said that he had to learn to not push or pull on the shift knob unless he was intending to shift, as it could disengage the clutch.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"
User avatar
ClutchFork
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:55 pm
Cars: 2008 Fusion 2.3L manual
Location: Detroit MI

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by ClutchFork »

Standardshifter wrote: Wed Feb 09, 2022 12:01 pm "The patent claims the point of this innovation is to give "many people, especially driving enthusiasts ... the increased driver interaction" of a manual, without "the negative attributes" of doing a calf raise every time a new gear is needed. "

https://www.autoblog.com/2022/02/06/for ... on-patent/

Is a manual really a manual without the clutch pedal? Is this a way to have a clutch pedal AND be an automatic at the same time?
"the negative attributes" of doing a calf raise every time a new gear is needed?

What are people becoming, wimps? What is so difficult about working a clutch? Especially the hydraulic clutches they have these days are a cake walk comped to the old mechanical linkages. Same people won't hesitate to do a bicep lift to suck on their favorite belly wash soda pop.
Stick shiftin since '77
theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...
IMBoring25
Moderator
Posts: 3408
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:01 pm
Location: OK, USA

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by IMBoring25 »

I've been thinking something like this has to be the future of manuals for a while now. As take rates decline it's harder and harder to justify all the unique hardware for offering the traditional manual. With something like this, the vast majority of the hardware is the same. Unfortunately, it sounds like the factory flash would allow the computer to override your clutch work if it disagrees. You could, though, even plug and play a pedal box and shifter to convert the exact same car from one driving mode to the other.
Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 11480
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by Rope-Pusher »

Eye remember when "A Company Formerly Known as Chrysler" came out with the "Autostick" shifter for their slushbox. Non-Amish were quoted as saying "Hey, I can shift it like a manual".

I think Amish-Wannabees were their target market, folks that had never driven Amish in their lives. Avoiding having to learn to operate the clutch release may have been a saving grace for the non-Amish. To me, actuating the Autostick shifter flipped a switch, which relayed a "Proposal" to a committee. When the committee chose to meet, they discussed this and maybe a myriad of other proposals, before voting on the issue to decide if the proposal would be enacted or not. That's not quick and direct like the Amish are known to be.

If the idea patented by Ford still requires mastery of clutch release skills, I don't think any Amish-Wannabees will be interested in it.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"
IMBoring25
Moderator
Posts: 3408
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2003 5:01 pm
Location: OK, USA

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by IMBoring25 »

Absolutely, the shiftable automatics have gotten better over the years, but I usually try it at least once when getting a rental car and the quality is still highly variable. Even the good ones, it doesn't really give me the joy of getting a proper manual to do exactly what I want it to do, and it winds up being used mostly to force an upshift that's right on the edge of what the computer would do on its own, preventing downshifts that would otherwise happen with throttle tip-in on gradual hills, or prevent hunting on varying terrain.
User avatar
potownrob
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 7803
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2005 11:35 pm
Cars: '17 CX-5 GT
Location: Dutchess County

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by potownrob »

eye always took issue with the "autostick" autos that were automatic gearboxes you could shift manually. they never did it for me, always too slow to shift and not direct enough feeling. that is up til about the early 2010s, when the autos got better (namely the 6 speed boxes), and the manual shifting became quicker and more direct feeling. the manual shifting on the cvt in my forester xt is even better than most conventional auto boxes i've tried shifting manually. ultimately, i almost never have used the manual shifting in any of my automatic vehicles, even the forester with its 8 speed simulation in sport # mode. eye just pop them into drive and sail away. knowing i can shift manually if i want (usually for control, not fun), is solace enough fore me.
ClutchFork wrote:...So I started carrying a stick of firewood with me and that became my parking brake.
User avatar
ClutchFork
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:55 pm
Cars: 2008 Fusion 2.3L manual
Location: Detroit MI

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by ClutchFork »

I have tried the paddle shifters and they are no fun. Also they don't seem to work right, or else I don't know how to work them.
Stick shiftin since '77
theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...
Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 11480
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by Rope-Pusher »

ClutchFork wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 11:35 pm I have tried the paddle shifters and they are no fun. Also they don't seem to work right, or else I don't know how to work them.
Your lawyer probably didn't submit the request on the latest version of the form and so the committee refused to review your shift request.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"
User avatar
ClutchFork
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:55 pm
Cars: 2008 Fusion 2.3L manual
Location: Detroit MI

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by ClutchFork »

Rope-Pusher wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:39 pm
ClutchFork wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 11:35 pm I have tried the paddle shifters and they are no fun. Also they don't seem to work right, or else I don't know how to work them.
Your lawyer probably didn't submit the request on the latest version of the form and so the committee refused to review your shift request.
Indeed! Shifting by committee. Whoever (engineer, bean counter, federal regulators, insurance lobby, etc.) had input into how those paddes work is driving your car and making you think you are actually shifting, when in reality you are being manipulated to the Nth degree like rats in a food maze.
Stick shiftin since '77
theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...
Rope-Pusher
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 11480
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:44 pm
Cars: '08 Jeep Liberty
Location: Greater Detroit Area

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by Rope-Pusher »

ClutchFork wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 3:18 pm
Rope-Pusher wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:39 pm
ClutchFork wrote: Fri Feb 11, 2022 11:35 pm I have tried the paddle shifters and they are no fun. Also they don't seem to work right, or else I don't know how to work them.
Your lawyer probably didn't submit the request on the latest version of the form and so the committee refused to review your shift request.
Indeed! Shifting by committee. Whoever (engineer, bean counter, federal regulators, insurance lobby, etc.) had input into how those paddes work is driving your car and making you think you are actually shifting, when in reality you are being manipulated to the Nth degree like rats in a food maze.
Yanno, when your Amish, you have a lot of freedom with how you worship the road. If you cared to drive in 1st gear range, with the accelerator pedal burried and the engine bounching against the rev limiter,..... then Sobeit! With Autostick, even if you thought you had commanded the trans remain in 1st gear, it will upshift to second rather than allow you to drive in 1st gear with the accelerator pedal burried and the engine bouncing off the rev limiter. Why is the two-footed idiot allowed to drive as they please, but the one-fotted idiot is "Saved from themselves" by upshifting the trans?

Back in the 1970's, I heard of Mazda owners driving their rotary-engined Amish vehicles on the freeway in 2nd gear and not being aware of the high revs. Back then, there were no provisions to limit engine rpms, and that rotary engine wasn't going to "Float the Valves", but it did result in excess wear of the rotor end-seals and excessive fuel consumption.
'08 Jeep Liberty 6-Speed MT - "Last of the Mohicans"
User avatar
ClutchFork
Master Standardshifter
Posts: 1909
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2013 2:55 pm
Cars: 2008 Fusion 2.3L manual
Location: Detroit MI

Re: Ford patents an automated manual transmission with fingertip control

Post by ClutchFork »

Rope-Pusher wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 3:43 pm
ClutchFork wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 3:18 pm
Rope-Pusher wrote: Sat Feb 12, 2022 2:39 pm
Your lawyer probably didn't submit the request on the latest version of the form and so the committee refused to review your shift request.
Indeed! Shifting by committee. Whoever (engineer, bean counter, federal regulators, insurance lobby, etc.) had input into how those paddes work is driving your car and making you think you are actually shifting, when in reality you are being manipulated to the Nth degree like rats in a food maze.
Yanno, when your Amish, you have a lot of freedom with how you worship the road. If you cared to drive in 1st gear range, with the accelerator pedal burried and the engine bounching against the rev limiter,..... then Sobeit! With Autostick, even if you thought you had commanded the trans remain in 1st gear, it will upshift to second rather than allow you to drive in 1st gear with the accelerator pedal burried and the engine bouncing off the rev limiter. Why is the two-footed idiot allowed to drive as they please, but the one-fotted idiot is "Saved from themselves" by upshifting the trans?

Back in the 1970's, I heard of Mazda owners driving their rotary-engined Amish vehicles on the freeway in 2nd gear and not being aware of the high revs. Back then, there were no provisions to limit engine rpms, and that rotary engine wasn't going to "Float the Valves", but it did result in excess wear of the rotor end-seals and excessive fuel consumption.
You'd think it also might have resulted in sounding more and more like a jet engine the faster they go.

Yep, that first gear pedal to the metal is a great idea for the last ride of the old beater.

the committee also won't let you throw it in first gear at 45 mph possibly bringing the tail around the front if the traction is less than optimal. All the fun is gone, they just make you think you are having fun and then when you believe it, you actually pay them money to have more fun buying a newer and more bell and whistled electronic rolling gizmo. I hear some don't even give you a key anymore but some chunk of plastic that looks like a baby chew toy.
Stick shiftin since '77
theholycow wrote:Why in the world would you even want to be as smooth as an automatic? Might as well just drive an automatic...
Post Reply