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Enhanced driving comfort and dynamics 25 years of Bosch electronic transmission controls Fuel consumption cut – reduced CO2 emissions


· First series application of electrohydraulic transmission control in the BMW 745 i in 1983

· From 8-bit computer to highly complex control unit

· Bosch acts as a systems supplier and competence partner in a growing market

Bosch has been a systems supplier of electronic controls for automatic transmissions for 25 years. Then as now, the objective is to use modern electronic transmission controls to provide a high degree of comfort through fast, gentle gear shifting and to use adequate gear-shifting strategies to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. For this purpose, market leader Bosch supplies electronic and hydraulic components for controlling automatic transmission units, continuously variable transmissions (CVT), dual-clutch transmissions, and automated manual transmissions. In addition, Bosch supplies control units and actuators for distributor transmissions and differential locks for vehicles with four-wheel drive.

The first series application of an electrohydraulic transmission control was announced by Bosch in 1983. Back then, the 4-gear automatic transmission of the BMW 745 i was controlled by an 8-bit computer. Its electrical pulses were transmitted to mechanical pressure controllers and solenoid valves in various control oil circuits, which took care of the transmission process. The following years brought numerous innovations in the area of transmission controls.

Innovative transmission controls
These innovations include the first adaptive transmission control (ATC). Introduced in 1992, it recognizes the driver’s driving style and adapts the gearshifting strategy to the respective driving situation – from economical, early upshift to a sporty driving style. 1996 saw the launch of the first 32-bit electronic control unit, and in 2001 Bosch presented the first mechatronic control module, which integrated electronic and mechanical components. In 2005, Bosch started series production of the TEHCM (Transmission Electro Hydraulic Control Module) electrohydraulic module, creating a new benchmark for transmission controls. Transmission control, pressure controllers, solenoid valves, and sensors were combined in this module to save installation space and handling costs. The omission of most of the plugin connectors and cables provided weight advantages, as well as ensuring maximum reliability. This module is also exceptionally robust, which means it can be directly installed in the transmission. A current example of Bosch’s innovative transmission controls is the module for an 8-gear automatic transmission, which has been designed specifically to further improve gear-shifting dynamics and to reduce fuel consumption.

Growing market for automatic transmissions
“Today, the increasing requirements for comfort and reduced consumption, as well as increasingly stringent emission standards, are the key drivers of development work at Bosch, and they will remain so in the future,” says Wolf-Henning Scheider, president of the Gasoline Systems division at Bosch. Especially in the United States and Japan, the demand for automatic transmissions remains strong. But the number of automatic transmissions in Europe is also increasing continuously, especially as more and more vehicles are being fitted with dual-clutch transmissions. In 2007, Bosch supplied roughly 3.7 million transmission controls worldwide. A yearly growth rate of six percent is forecast for the transmission controls market over the next seven years.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. In the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of 46.3 billion euros in fiscal 2007. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiaries and regional companies in roughly 50 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Each year, Bosch spends more than 3 billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide. The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.”

The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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