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Maruti Suzuki S-Assist feature could dump the clutch in manuals

Written by Nizam Shaikh

Maruti Suzuki has filed patents for a new name at the intellectual property office. The patent name is S-Assist, filed under the Nice classification 12. The classification is for automobiles and automotive parts in general. But the description box in the patent application explicitly mentions “Vehicle; Apparatus for Locomotion”. This leads us to believe that Maruti Suzuki could be developing an “assistance” feature for its vehicles. 

Maruti Suzuki S-Assist

Speculations are that Maruti Suzuki could be planning to introduce a clutchless manual transmission. This technology could be similar to the Kia and Hyundai iMT (intelligent Manual Transmission) technology. The brand already has the AGS (Automated Gear Shift), which is Maruti Suzuki’s term for Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).

But unlike AMT, clutchless manual transmission or iMT, as Hyundai Group likes to call it, gives the driver the power to shift gears without working the clutch. This is a boon in both urban as well as on the highways, especially during overtaking manoeuvres. The clutchless system also helps the driver traverse easily in a bumper-to-bumper traffic situation. This offers the best of both world’s, a balance between performance and ease of use. 

How Does Clutchless Manual Transmission Work?

The clutchless manual transmission features a conventional H-pattern gearshift but no clutch pedal. The car features only two pedals, one for the throttle and one for the brake. The gear shift lever features a sensor that detects the driver’s intention of shifting the gear. This sensor sends a signal to a control unit. The control unit actuates a hydraulic cylinder sending pressure through a clutch tube. This process actuates the clutch or releases depending on the situation. The clutch is automatically actuated when the car comes to a halt in traffic and released when the vehicle starts to roll. 

Currently, there is no information available on the launch timeline or which cars the brand may employ the technology. 

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