What Is a DuaLogic Transmission?by Lisa Magloff
The DuaLogic transmission is used in some Fiat cars to deliver better performance combined with fuel economy. The DuaLogic gearbox combines the features of an automatic gearbox with those of a manual gearbox, and uses an onboard computer to aid performance and fuel savings. The DuaLogic transmission ensures the gearbox is always in the most effective gear for the driving conditions.
How It Works
The DuaLogic gearbox uses an electrohydraulic servo to automate the clutch and gear lever. In semi-automatic mode, the driver uses a lever rather than a clutch pedal to change gears up or down. The DuaLogic contains a computer, which collects data from the gearbox, the clutch, braking system and the engine. This allows the DuaLogic to coordinate the actions of the gearbox with those of the rest of the car, for example, automatically increasing engine speed when you downshift. In automatic, the DuaLogic can also recognize road gradient and can change the gear shift point to give the best combination of performance and fuel economy.
The DuaLogic has a choice of operating modes for the driver to chose from. In automatic mode, the DuaLogic selects the gears and operates the clutch. In automatic, the DuaLogic's electronic management system will change gears at the time of maximum engine performance to achieve maximum acceleration. In manual mode, the driver selects the gears and operates the clutch, as in a normal manual transmission. In semi-automatic mode, the DuaLogic operates the gearbox, but the driver can downshift when she feels the need -- such as to take a corner at speed.
The DuaLogic computer uses fuzzy logic to adapt to the driver's driving style and road conditions, so it can anticipate when the car will decelerate and downshift accordingly. This allows the car to be driven in the most fuel efficient manner. The DuaLogic also has several safety features that can make it safer than a manual transmission. For example, it shifts automatically to neutral whenever the engine is running and the door is open, and turns on warning lights and buzzers to alert drivers of maneuvers that could damage the engine or gearbox.
The main disadvantage to the DuaLogic is that, because it is a complicated piece of equipment, and combines electronic and mechanical parts, there is more that can go wrong with it than with a standard manual transmission. Because the DuaLogic incorporates a computer system, it is very difficult to repair it yourself, and repairs may be more expensive than with a purely mechanical manual transmission.
- driving position image by Robert Kelly from Fotolia.com