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Patent for the Semi-Automated Manual Transmission (SMT) Acquired by TVS

Patent for the Semi-Automated Manual Transmission (SMT) Acquired by TVSAutomated Manual Transmission has been making waves in the Indian auto market, and quite a lot of auto manufacturers are beginning to adopt the technology in their production lines. Similar to the manual transmission vehicles, it has a clutch and a gear, but there is no clutch pedal.

Recently, the Chennai Auto-Mobile TVS Motors acquired the patent for an AMT for two wheelers. It is expected to be introduced in their two-wheelers coming up.

The SMT is an improvement on the gearbox which does not have a clutch pedal. After initially failing to break into the market, Chennai Auto-Mobile TVS has revolutionized the design, taking design ideas from the AMT gearbox. The new design will have buttons on the switchgear, and instead of drivers mechanically changing gears, the gears will be changed electronically at the press of a button. The button sends messages which activate an electric motor to change the gears according to the driver’s preference.

This AMT system is already in use by a number of manufacturers, and Honda has introduced this design to both the VFR1200F, their high-end Sports Tourer, and also the new Adventurer Tourer called the Africa Twin. The technology used by Honda though is different from the patent that has been acquired by TVS, as theirs is used in combination with an automatic transmission.  The Semi-Automated Manual Transmission can also be resourceful in the design of three-wheeler automobiles, considering that both work using the same transmission principle.

TVS’s first try at an AMT two-wheeler automobile, the Jive, was unsuccessful due to some mechanical issues encountered during the manufacture. This is not expected to reoccur with the new design, as it works basically with electronic to electrical interaction, reducing human effort. There are also claims by TVS that this design will not reduce fuel efficiency of the powertrain as encountered with the Jive.