Wabco Holdings' new modular automated manual transmission system, launched late last year, now has a name, OptiDrive, the manufacturer announced today.
The Tier One supplier's system is designed with a high degree of modularity to reduce development time required for application to transmission and vehicle platforms. OptiDrive is easily adaptable to existing manual transmissions without changing it, Wabco said.
Among the benefits of the system is the ability to change gears while in full automatic mode or as initiated by the driver. The smooth gear shifting process helps improve vehicle control and driver comfort while lowering fuel consumption by shifting at the optimum speed, according to Wabco.
"Wabco's new OptiDrive system is one of the most creatively engineered products in our global portfolio, providing more efficient vehicle performance, further vehicle safety and increased driver comfort," said Hans-Jürgen Sander, Wabco vp-- driveline control. "With its high degree of modularity, our new OptiDrive system means faster time to market not only for truck and bus makers but also for transmission manufacturers. Our OptiDrive system will help expand demand for automated manual transmissions worldwide, especially in markets such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, where adoption of such systems is expected to grow rapidly."
China National Heavy Truck Corp. (CNHTC) equipped its flagship trucks with the system in December, becoming the first OEM to adopt the OptiDrive system in volume production.
Earlier last month, as reported in Trailer Body Builder, Wabco and CNHTC signed a new strategic partnership that extends to 2016. Under the terms of the agreement, Wabco will continue to supply air management products, braking systems and transmission control products to CNHTC.
"Over the past decade, Wabco has transformed from a European export company into a global organization that successfully adapts to the requirements of the Chinese market," said Cai Dong, CNHTC president. "Wabco's local management team also has the ability to rapidly align sourcing and manufacturing capabilities with market conditions in China, further enhancing the flexibility, cost effectiveness and value that Wabco offers CNHTC."