The Power Of Sensors In Transmission Systems

How sensors help ensure cars are comfortable, safe, and reliable.


I have always had a passion for cars. As a child, I used to spend hours playing with toy cars and imagining all sorts of incredible adventures. But as I got older, my love affair with cars only grew stronger. I became fascinated by the mechanics of these amazing machines and all the different parts that come together to make them run. And one of the parts that always intrigued me the most were the sensors. You see, sensors are the unsung heroes of the car, constantly monitoring and controlling its performance to ensure that it’s running smoothly and efficiently. And they play an especially important role in transmission systems.

Now, to illustrate it for you, the following image shows the transmission system and the position of the sensors:

Fig. 1: Transmission System

1. Gear lever

As you can see from the picture above, there is the gear selector lever, which senses the position of the gear lever. It is important to add that a sensor is needed to find out what gear or driving mode is chosen for all vehicles, including electric ones. An example of a sensor in the gear lever is TLE4964-2M, the concept of which has been proven to be safe and accurate. It also has implicit redundancy with up to 18 sensors, which provides added security and the design of the system has been made simpler thanks to the use of XENSIV advanced simulation tool.

2. Parking lock

Now for position sensing, we also have the parking lock. When you use the parking lock, it stops the car from moving by locking the wheels with a special piece called a pawl. When you’re ready to drive again, you turn off the parking lock and the pawl is taken away, so the wheels can move. The parking lock is controlled by a sensor that knows when it’s on or off. The sensor in this case is the magnetic switch TLE4968-1M which works with a voltage of 3.0 to 32 V but can handle a higher voltage and protects against too much current and overheating.

3. Transmission speed sensing

Lastly, we have sensors which sense speed. Their job is to help determine when to change gears and how to make the gears work most efficiently. In addition to that, they help to make shifting smoother and quicker. A success story in this case is TLE495x (e.g. TLE4953), which in a general note for speed sensing has the highest quality and reliability requirements (<0,2 dpm).

It is safe to say that everyone wants their cars to be comfortable, safe, and reliable. And this is where sensors come in. They can detect when the car is shifting gears, ensuring a smooth transition and improved performance. And if the transmission is slipping, sensors can detect this too and prevent damage or decreased efficiency. And let me tell you, it’s not just about the car’s performance. Sensors also play a crucial role in improving safety on the road. By accurately detecting gear shifts, they help prevent sudden gear changes that can cause accidents. And by monitoring the transmission fluid, they help keep the car running smoothly and avoid unexpected breakdowns, making the road a safer place for everyone.

Well, my love affair with cars and sensors continues to grow stronger every day. These tiny parts play a huge role in making our cars run smoothly, efficiently, and safely. And as the automotive industry continues to evolve, I have no doubt that sensors will continue to play a crucial role in the journey towards electromobility and improved energy efficiency.

If you want to read more on sensor use cases in transmission systems, click here.

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