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GPS GearChange

Using GPS to Change Gear
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It's totally irritating when you reach a hill in an automatic gearchange car and have to wait until the engine "notices" that it's on a hill for it to change down a gear. It's too late.

The country is totally mapped, down to the nearest metre; and lots of cars have GPS systems installed; so get the GPS to tell the engine it's approaching a hill and to change down. Simple.

Harry Mudd, Oct 11 2003

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       I don't think you want GPS, I think you want a tilt measuring device, as gps data (at least in the UK) isn't good enough to give you an idea of local incline. Better still, they make cars with gear sticks now.   

       P.S. welcome to the HB [HM] !
neilp, Oct 11 2003
  

       would car:gadget be a better category for this ?
neilp, Oct 11 2003
  

       //The country is totally mapped, down to the nearest metre//   

       You're obviously not mexican.
Pericles, Oct 11 2003
  

       Alternatively, anticipate the advent of a hill and either change gear to allow higher revs in your (proper) manual car or else put your foot down in a (wierd) automatic.
A GPS system could not anticipate the requirement on any hill at different times for different drivers.
Driver1 wants to stop at the bottom.
Driver2 is in the rain.
Driver3 is running snow chains on Ice.
Driver4 is driving too slow.
Driver5 is driving too fast.
Its not gonna work is it?
gnomethang, Oct 11 2003
  

       The automatics I drive (at work only, manual for my own car...) have a options for turning off overdrive (4th gear), and for shifting manually into gears 1 and 2. I often turn off overdrive on a hill both for extra power, and because running on the hills around here at 55 mph in overdrive makes a low pitched noise I can't stand.
swamilad, Oct 12 2003
  

       Another way would be to go live in Europe where almost all cars have manual gearboxes :-)
moroder, Oct 12 2003
  

       //The country is totally mapped, down to the nearest metre//   

       Well, you can't be Canadian, either.   

       The US is probably the best GPS-mapped country in the world, but they map down to the nearest yard.
Cedar Park, Oct 12 2003
  

       Just what we need, something else to break in a car. Whenever the United States goes to war they scramble the GPS codes so enemy forces cannot get accurate navigation, so i guess whenever we are at war your car would shift gears seemingly randomly and that would suck.. that is if you didnt have a switch to deactivate it which i am sure they wouldnt because cars have such little control feautres these days, nothing is manual! Another thing that i could see a potential problem is when there is road construction and hills are changed or altered and your software isnt up to date so it maybe a good idea to have a cellular based internet uplink to download updates to the software. I think this is a really good idea and some people who live in hilly areas like california, kentucky and so on may find this useful and GM could probably use these with their on star features in luxury cars such as their cadillac line. I live in Michigan where a lot of car companies are based and we probably haven't thought of this yet considering southeast michigan's largest hill is an ant hill.
JoeLounsbury, Oct 15 2003
  

       The trouble with this idea is that if fails to realize that the dynamics are such the the shifting SHOULD occur when the car "notices" it. That makes it respond to the dynamics at the moment.
zigness, Mar 21 2004
  

       Ah but... an auto system is "blind". It only changes gear when the engine starts to labour - which is too late. Every ridden a two-stroke with a narrow power-band? "Good" drivers change down as they approach the hill, that's the practice I'd be trying to replicate.
Harry Mudd, Mar 21 2004
  

       If you want to make a device that detects if your car is going up or down, you simply need a gyro sensor. A GPS receiver in itself does not provide any usefull information, but a car navigation system is indeed using a GPS receiver. But don't forget that the US maps in the navigation system are still 2D based, so even a navigation system doesn't know if the car will go up or down.
Frederik De Vusser, Apr 29 2004
  

       Why not shoot for a full-blown inertial navigation system? Outfit the car with laser gyros and accelerometers, traction control, collision-avoidance sensors...
whlanteigne, Oct 02 2005
  
      
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