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Fundamentals of Modern Vehicle Transmissions PD130419ON

In this course, Dr. William Mark McVea details the transmission's primary functions - to provide drivability characteristics to the vehicle and adaptive connectivity between the engine and the remainder of the fixed function driveline. The discussion then focuses on the latest transmission systems designed to achieve the most efficient engine operation. Current designs, the components and sub-systems used, their functional modes, how they operate, and the inter-relationships are examined. Automatic control, hydro-mechanic design theory and implementation, mechatronics, toroidal transmission functions, and the future of the automatic transmission are discussed. Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) systems, which represent a fundamental shift in the way power is transmitted from the primary source to the remainder of the driveline, is covered in depth.


Based on the popular classroom seminar, the 14 hour course is divided into nine modules, accompanied by a handbook.


By participating in this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the competing technologies in current use to provide mechanical power transmission within the technical confines of modern vehicle designs
  • Discuss the fundamental operational principles of modern vehicle based transmission systems
  • Describe in detail the differing characteristics and technical aspects of stepped versus stepless mechanical power transmission systems, their value, practical use, and applicability to stated performance parameters
  • Theorize on the practical application of any of the major common designs to a specific application, or performance objective
  • Predict and analytically determine the most appropriate system to satisfy a stated operational need
  • Review proposed new technology and decide on proof of concept based on the technical merits and technological extensions employed or proposed

Materials Provided

  • 90 days of access (from date of purchase) to the 14 hour course
  • Links to streaming video modules
  • Course handbook (downloadable, .pdf's)
  • Instructor follow up to your content questions
  • 1.4 CEUs*/Certificate of Achievement (with satisfactory learning assessment score)
*SAE International is authorized by IACET to offer CEUs for this course.

Is this e-Seminar for You?

This course is for those who wish to become familiar with the operational theories or functional principles of modern vehicle transmission systems. As the material covered is targeted at a number of design and engineering disciplines, you should have a minimum of two years of design experience in the automotive powertrain field, or preferably a B.S. in engineering or related field.


This course satisfies a requirement in the Transmission/Drivetrain Certificate Program.

Have colleagues who need this course? See Special Offers to the right.

Click on the Requirements tab to make sure you are properly equipped to interact with this course.

For More Details

Email, or call 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada) or 724-776-4970 (outside US and Canada).

Related Topics
Click on each topic for an expanded view.
  • Transmission Technology Development
  • Transmission Speed Ratios and Operation
  • Manual Transmission Power Flow and Components
  • Torque Converter
  • Automatic Transmission Power Flow and Components
  • Holding Members and Hydraulic Control
  • Continuously Variable Transmission
  • Continuously Variable Transmission Technology
  • Technology Review

  • Windows 7, 8, 10 (other operating systems and mobile platforms are not supported but may work)
  • Internet Explorer 11, Mozilla Firefox 37+ , Google Chrome 42+ (other browsers are not supported)
  • Broadband-1Mbps minimum

Joe J. Doe
Dr. William M. McVea PE

Dr. William Mark McVea, P.E., is currently President and Principal Engineer of KBE+, Inc. where he and his team design and develop complete powertrains for automotive and off-highway vehicles. Dr. McVea has held many positions within the mechanical drive and powertrain industry; most recently as Chief Technology Officer for Torvec, Inc., an industry leader in the design and development of patented powertrain engineering technology used primarily in the automotive industry. His prior positions include Professor of Vehicle Dynamics and Powertrain Sciences in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology and adjunct professor at Purdue University in their Automotive Sciences Department. He was also formerly a manager of the CAE group within a tier-one powertrain supplier to global automotive markets, a consulting engineer in vehicle dynamics with Gear Consultants, Inc., and a project manager of traction systems for off-highway vehicles with Clark-Hurth International. Dr. McVea has published extensively on the topics of transmission systems, automated design assistant systems, knowledge systems and knowledge based engineering in general. He also holds or is listed as co-inventor on numerous patents related to mechanical power transmissions. Dr. McVea holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a Ph.D. in Design Engineering from Purdue University and is a licensed Professional Engineer.

1.4 CEUs


"I develop many of the chassis components that mate with the transmission. This course helped me to fully understand the components and functionality of the different types of transmissions."
Jeremy Ling
Product Engineer
Honda of America Manufacturing

"Excellent subject matter and overview on how transmissions work. I have learned a great deal about something I use everyday."
Jack Smith
Senior Project Engineer, Transmission Controls
Robert Bosch Corporation

Access Period:90 Days

Duration: 14 Hours
Members save up to 20% off list price.
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Special Offers:

Have colleagues who need this course? Purchase access for one individual at the appropriate member or list price, then purchase access for up to four additional employees at 10% off the list price. Contact SAE Customer Service to arrange online access for all individuals at the same time or mention the confirmation number for the first purchase. The offer is good for only the same e-Seminar. All participants will receive a personal account and opportunity for CEUs.


Quantity discounts for six or more students and corporate access options also are available - complete a Corporate Learning Solutions Request Form for a quote.