Q: How does an adaptive transmission work

asked by on April 11, 2017

How does an adaptive learning transmission function? How long does it take for the pcm to learn my driving habits to adjust shifting?
My car has an automatic transmission.

There is not a fixed end-point insofar as the "learning" or adaptive strategy. The initial "adaptation" occurs within miles but these systems typically rely on "fuzzy" logic so there are continual changes in the operation of the transmission just as your use of the vehicle may change if you are driving in the city versus in a mountainous region or perhaps towing a trailer. Ford’s Adaptive Transmission Control system recognizes individual styles of driving (e.g., aggressive vs. relaxed) and adapts transmission shift parameters accordingly. Two types of ATC are adaptive shift-scheduling and adaptive shift-quality control. Adaptive shift scheduling uses information to assess driving style and decides when to upshift or downshift. It also can identify uphill or downhill gradients and recognize hard cornering. This helps inhibit shifts that might be annoying to the driver or affect vehicle stability. Adaptive shift-quality control uses information about the vehicle or environment, such as changes in the transmission due to wear, to improve the quality of shifts. This system can also adjust shift smoothness to suit driving style (e.g., crisper shifts for aggressive driving or smoother shifts for normal driving). Adaptive shift scheduling uses a microprocessor to read signals from various sensors. It uses a complex algorithm and ongoing memory to decide when to shift. For example, high lateral acceleration during cornering may prevent shifting even if the accelerator is suddenly depressed or released. This helps avoid potential loss of tire grip due to load reversal. Shift points can be based on calibration curves in memory. Adaptive shift-quality control adjusts parameters that affect the speed and smoothness of the shift by interpreting data, including drive line feedback from various sensors, as well as post shift parameters. These systems rely on thousands of lines of computer code and the foregoing, which is based on Ford’s own overview is simply a quick introduction. The Factory Service Manual and other Ford documentation go into much greater detail regarding the function and capabilities of these systems. If you have further questions or concerns, do not hesitate to re-contact YourMechanic as we are always here to help you.

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