Dual clutch systems have been used in passenger cars for several years. They permit smoother, faster shifting that parallels the performance of an automatic transmission. Volvo thinks that smoothness is a good idea for trucks as well, because it will reduce wear and tear on the driveline while permitting more comfortable trips for delicate cargo. It also provides more even power delivery, which is important in wet or slippery conditions. Volvo has just introduced its I-Shift Dual Clutch transmission for heavy trucks, an industry first. Astrid Drewsen, product manager for drivelines at Volvo Trucks, told Gizmag recently:
“When driving (the new Volvos) it feels like you have access to two gearboxes. When one gear is selected in one gearbox, the next gear is already prepared in the other,” says . “With dual clutches, gear changes take place without any interruption in power delivery. As a result, engine torque is maintained and driving comfort is significantly improved.”
While Volvo is the first to offer a modern dual clutch system for heavy vehicles, it should be noted that this isn’t a new concept. Like electric cars at the turn of the last century, gearboxes that held the next gear “ready” are simply making a comeback, and used to be called pre-selector gear boxes were featured on many commercial vehicles as long ago as the 1930’s, especially on London’s iconic double decker buses.
So, I guess the lesson is: When it comes to transportation technology, whether it is electric cars or smooth shifting truck transmissions, what’s old is new again.
What do you think, dear readers? Is this a trend that’s limited to transportation, or are paleo-diets and tiny houses part of the same trend? Let us know what you think in the comments!
Source | Images: Volvo, via Gizmag.