News Column

Patent Issued for Gear Absolute Position Sensor for Manual Transmission

June 17, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Technology -- A patent by the inventors Benson, Christopher G. (Rochester Hills, MI); Cousins, William L. (Ortonville, MI); Bur, Bradford W. (Clarkston, MI), filed on October 28, 2011, was published online on June 3, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8739647 is assigned to GM Global Technology Operations, LLC (Detroit, MI).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The statements in this section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may or may not constitute prior art.

"The trend of automatic motor vehicle transmissions for passenger cars, sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and other consumer vehicles from substantially full hydraulic operation to operation under the control of an electronic transmission control module (TCM) and hydraulic actuators has been accompanied by both the desire and necessity of providing electronic linear position sensors which provide real time data to the transmission control module regarding the current positions of the actuators, the associated shift linkages and the clutches, brakes and gears acted upon. Such data is utilized by the transmission control module to confirm, for example, the commencement and completion of a shift and thus the overall state of the transmission. Such data is also useful for self-diagnosis of impending or actual component failure.

"This trend has not been taken up by the other significant class of motor vehicle transmissions, namely, manual transmissions. As the name suggests, such transmissions are manually shifted by the vehicle operator. Since shift timing and gear selection are left to the vehicle operator, the incorporation of various sensors in a manual transmission has been viewed as not only unnecessary but as an invasion of the operator's freedom.

"Nonetheless, it is apparent that data regarding the current operating state of a manual transmission can be utilized by associated electronic controllers to improve the overall driving experience. The present invention is so directed."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "The present invention provides a gear absolute position sensor assembly (GAPS) that senses the absolute, current shift lever position or chosen or engaged gear of a manual transmission. The sensor assembly provides data to an associated electronic controller such as an engine control module (ECM). The sensor assembly preferably comprises two Hall effect or other type of magnetic field (proximity) sensors in combination with an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) which is supplied with data from the sensors, decodes the output of the sensors and provides an output identifying a specific engaged gear or neutral for use by vehicle or engine management processors. The sensors are mounted proximate the shift linkage at a location where they can sense both rotation and translation.

"The sensor assembly may be utilized with four, five, six or more speed and gear ratio manual transmissions. Use of the sensor assembly enables engine and transmission speed matching which reduces clutch wear and provides improved shift quality. The sensor assembly also enables engine start-stop capability as well as remote start for a manual transmission by, inter alia, detecting when the transmission is in neutral. The sensors and the application specific integrated circuit also provide full diagnostic capability.

"Thus it is an aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission.

"It is a further aspect of the present invention to provide a gear absolute position sensor (GAPS) for a manual transmission.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having two magnetic proximity sensors.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having two Hall effect sensors.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having an application specific integrated circuit.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having two sensors mounted proximate the shift linkage.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having four, five, six or more speeds or gear ratios.

"It is a still further aspect of the present invention to provide an absolute gear position sensor assembly for a manual transmission having full diagnostic capability.

"Further aspects, advantages and areas of applicability will become apparent from the description provided herein. It should be understood that the description and specific examples are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Benson, Christopher G.; Cousins, William L.; Bur, Bradford W.. Gear Absolute Position Sensor for Manual Transmission. U.S. Patent Number 8739647, filed October 28, 2011, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8739647.PN.&OS=PN/8739647RS=PN/8739647

Keywords for this news article include: GM Global Technology Operations LLC.

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Source: Journal of Technology


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