Global component supplier Bosch has developed an electronically-controlled clutch that closes the gap between manual and automatic transmissions.In stop-and-go traffic, the Bosch eClutch allows drivers using manual transmission to use first gear without using the clutch.
They can simply use the brake and gas pedal, just like in an automatic transmission. In addition, the eClutch makes the coasting function possible, which saves fuel. The clutch decouples the engine from the transmission if the driver is no longer accelerating. The engine then stops, and the company claims this results in fuel savings of up to 10 percent on average.
The eClutch costs significantly less than a conventional automatic transmission, and is thus an attractive alternative in the compact car segment, where price competition is tough. Unlike a full-blown automatic transmission, the eClutch automates the clutch only, not the transmission.
The principle behind the start-stop coasting function is simple. The Bosch system detects the driver’s easing of pressure on the gas pedal, decouples the engine from the transmission, and thus prevents the engine from consuming fuel.