Wabco automates transmissions, trailer telematics

A modular system intended to simplify automation of existing manual transmissions and a trailer telematics system integrated into a single unit are being introduced by Wabco Vehicle Control Systems at the upcoming 2008 IAA Commercial Vehicle exposition in Hanover, Germany

A modular system intended to simplify automation of existing manual transmissions and a trailer telematics system integrated into a single unit are being introduced by Wabco Vehicle Control Systems at the upcoming 2008 IAA Commercial Vehicle exposition in Hanover, Germany.

The new modular automated manual transmission (AMT) system will allow quick development of self-shifting gearboxes for trucks because it can be adapted to existing transmission designs without extensive modification, according to the company. The system adds three core components – a cab-mounted shift lever that incorporates an electronic control unit, a shift actuator mounted on the gearbox and a clutch actuator.

In addition to automatic shifts for drivers, the system can also improve fuel economy through efficient shift patterns, according to Wabco. Intended markets for the automation system include China, India and Russia “where AMT market penetration is expected to grow rapidly,” the company said.

The trailer telematics system incorporates a high-performance GPS receiver for location and a quad-band GSM modem with integrated antenna for wireless data communications. Intended for both OEM and aftermarket installation, it can be integrated with other Wabco trailer controls such as electronic braking, suspension control and tire monitoring systems to provide fleets with real-time access to a wide range of operating and location data, according to the company. Standardized interfaces allow integration with existing fleet management software programs, Wabco said.

Headquartered in Brussels, Wabco began business in the U.S. in 1869 as Westinghouse Air Brake Co. It was acquired by American Standard in 1968 and spun off as an independent publicly traded company in 2007.

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