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GM’s New Manual Patent: ME Corvette

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  • GM’s New Manual Patent: ME Corvette

    There is hope!

    jalopnik.com

    "We’ve seen lots of spy shots and even videos of the mid-engine Corvette prototypes running around but almost all of them seem to point to the use of a dual-clutch transmission. While we don’t have any concrete, confirmed details on the powertrain yet, a new patent application from General Motors may show how a manual transmission could be implemented.


    This application, titled “electric slave cylinder for manually shifted vehicles,” shows how clutch-by-wire could be implemented to operate a manual transmission without having to run hydraulic lines.

    The most obvious application for such a system would be a vehicle with an engine and transmission behind the driver, as it would the use of a manual transmission without having to run a hydraulic line to the rear from the clutch master cylinder which is usually directly in front of the clutch pedal.


    In a traditional application for a hydraulic clutch system, a clutch pedal is mounted to the firewall with the clutch master cylinder directly in front of it. A hydraulic line extends from this master cylinder to the clutch slave cylinder, which is mounted on the transmission in order to actuate the clutch.

    When the pedal is pressed, hydraulic pressure is built and sent down the line in order to move the clutch and shift gears.


    In the system shown in the patent application, a sensor is mounted on the clutch pedal which send an electronic signal to an actuator mounted on the electronic slave cylinder in the transmission in order to move the clutch plate. This allows for installation of transmission far away from the clutch pedal without worry of a long hydraulic line.

    There are other methods of installing a manual transmission in the rear of a car, and they have been implemented on many recent cars such as the previous generation Ford GT, but the electronic system would allow for more flexibility.

    Another benefit of an electronically-operated slave cylinder is that it would be possible to give control to a computer for certain operations such as stop and go traffic in order to prevent fatigue and the patent application even lists that as one of the benefits of such a system along with having a consistent feel even over longer periods of time which is not possible with a hydraulic system.

    The system may seem like yet another method of of taking control away from the driver but, it may actually be a savior for the manual transmission as it could take away the mundane tasks of clutching in and out while in stop and go traffic while making it somewhat future-proof by bringing it into the network of modules that can be centrally controlled by one of the cars computers.

    But remember, it’s just a patent. It may not go anywhere. For now, it’s an interesting piece of tech and I’m eager to see if GM does anything with it."
    Last edited by John; 09-30-2018, 11:49 PM.
    Vin # 2539
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  • #2
    I realize that just because GM (or any company for that matter) files a patent on a technology, doesn't mean that they plan to incorporate that technology in any product at this time. GM could be filing this as a "Defensive Patent" in order to keep competitors from implementing similar technology in their vehicles. They could also want to protect related technologies such as feedback mechanisms. Nevertheless, I find it exciting that there may still be an option for those of us that like to row the gears.
    Vin # 2539
    Torch Red LT2 Z51

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    • #3
      Another benefit not mentioned in the article, rear or front engined, is compatibility with automated braking systems, allowing the car to disengage the clutch before coming to a stop.
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      • #4


        Car Technology GM’s New Patent Application Could Be Used to Do a Manual Mid-Engine Corvette


        Bozi Tatarevic
        Today 11:05am
        Filed to: PatentsFiled to: Patents
        60Save Photo: Stefan Baldauf
        We’ve seen lots of spy shots and even videos of the mid-engine Corvette prototypes running around but almost all of them seem to point to the use of a dual-clutch transmission. While we don’t have any concrete, confirmed details on the powertrain yet, a new patent application from General Motors may show how a manual transmission could be implemented.




        This application, titled “electric slave cylinder for manually shifted vehicles,” shows how clutch-by-wire could be implemented to operate a manual transmission without having to run hydraulic lines.

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        The most obvious application for such a system would be a vehicle with an engine and transmission behind the driver, as it would the use of a manual transmission without having to run a hydraulic line to the rear from the clutch master cylinder which is usually directly in front of the clutch pedal.
        In a traditional application for a hydraulic clutch system, a clutch pedal is mounted to the firewall with the clutch master cylinder directly in front of it. A hydraulic line extends from this master cylinder to the clutch slave cylinder, which is mounted on the transmission in order to actuate the clutch.

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        When the pedal is pressed, hydraulic pressure is built and sent down the line in order to move the clutch and shift gears.
        In the system shown in the patent application, a sensor is mounted on the clutch pedal which send an electronic signal to an actuator mounted on the electronic slave cylinder in the transmission in order to move the clutch plate. This allows for installation of transmission far away from the clutch pedal without worry of a long hydraulic line.

        Advertisement



        There are other methods of installing a manual transmission in the rear of a car, and they have been implemented on many recent cars such as the previous generation Ford GT, but the electronic system would allow for more flexibility.

        Another benefit of an electronically-operated slave cylinder is that it would be possible to give control to a computer for certain operations such as stop and go traffic in order to prevent fatigue and the patent application even lists that as one of the benefits of such a system along with having a consistent feel even over longer periods of time which is not possible with a hydraulic system.

        The system may seem like yet another method of of taking control away from the driver but, it may actually be a savior for the manual transmission as it could take away the mundane tasks of clutching in and out while in stop and go traffic while making it somewhat future-proof by bringing it into the network of modules that can be centrally controlled by one of the cars computers.

        Advertisement



        But remember, it’s just a patent. It may not go anywhere. For now, it’s an interesting piece of tech and I’m eager to see if GM does anything with it. Recommended Stories


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        About the author

        Bozi Tatarevic
        Bozi Tatarevic
        Freelance Writer • LS Swap Enthusiast • 2016 Subaru WRX, 2005 Legacy GT, 1987 Mitsubishi Montero, 2000 Mazda Miata
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        • #5

          Thank you Frenzy36; going to merge this thread with our earlier one, same subject — to get the benefit of both in one thread.
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          • #6
            Now we're talkin'

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            • #7
              Thanks to Plasboy, we have learned of another article about this in CorvetteBlogger.

              https://www.corvetteblogger.com/2018...-transmission/

              [Quote=CorvetteBlogger] New GM Patent Could Allow the C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission

              By
              Keith Cornett
              -
              Sep 21, 2018
              224
              Save

              New GM Patent Could Allow C8 Mid-Engine Corvette to Have a Manual Transmission
              Photo Credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

              One of the biggest conceptions about the C8 mid-engine Corvette is that it might not have a manual transmission. That’s been the prevailing thinking following a cache of CAD images that were shared on the Corvette Forum last year that showed only an automatic transmission.

              Although the recent generations of Corvettes average somewhere in the 25% area as the take-rate for manual transmissions, that customer base is often the loudest when it comes to proclaiming their favorite choice of transmissions. The good news is that GM may have been listening as the automaker just received approval of a new patent that shows an electronic clutch system for manually shifted vehicles.

              The new patent, called “Electric Slave Cylinder for Manually Shifted Vehicles” utilizes electric sensors connected to the clutch pedal that are in communication with a slave cylinder and actuator that controls the clutch. This clutch-by-wire could allow for a manual transmission without the use of hydraulic lines that are found in typical manual transmission set-ups.

              The benefits of the system seem to favor a mid/rear-engine car where both the engine and transmission are behind the driver. However, since C5 generation, the transmission has already been in the rear anyway so I am not sure if that’s the main reason. Another of the benefits suggested in the patent is that the computer can be programmed for several other functions including allowing the computer to shift automatically in stop-or-go traffic to prevent driver fatigue.

              This patent could also provide a way to deal with the “Emergency Stop” systems as they become mandatory in a few years. Our thinking is that as sensors engage the brakes, the computer could deactivate the manual transmissions during emergency braking.

              The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has previously announced that Emergency Stop systems to become standard in 2022.

              The patent itself says nothing about whether this is intended for the Corvette, but in reality, how many manual transmission cars does GM offer these days? (I actually looked this up and came up with this list: Chevrolet Spark, Chevrolet Sonic and Chevrolet Cruze, Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon, Chevrolet Corvette, Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet SS, Cadillac ATS/ATS-V.)

              We have added the patent publication Electric Slave Cylinder for Manually Shifted Vehicles to our archives where it can be viewed or downloaded. Some of the images from patent are below:





              GBA Black; HTO Twilight/Tension interior; Z51 & Mag Ride; E60 lift; 5VM visible carbon fiber package; 5ZZ high wing; FA5 interior vis CF; ZZ3 engine appearance; 3LT; Q8T Spectra Gray Tridents; J6N Edge Red Calipers; SNG Edge Red Hashmarks; VQK Splash Guards; RCC Edge Red engine cover; VJR illuminated sill plates. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 23 year members of National Corvette Museum. Home is the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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