The Lotus CVT and Evolution of the Smart Transmission Concept 922106
This paper describes the process that redirected research effort from continuously variable transmissions (CVT's) to Smart Transmissions, the electronic control of a conventional manual gearbox. Initially work was carried out on theoretical and existing CVT's, and culminated in the proposal for a system that might solve some of the practical limitations. Following further simulation work comparing the CVT against an intelligently shifted 7 speed gearbox, it was concluded that the Smart Transmission could closely match the CVT for performance and fuel consumption. This meant original targets set by using a CVT could now be met without having to develop new transmission technology. At this point research effort was changed to developing this type of electronically controlled gearbox.