Ford and GM Partner To Develop Nine- and 10-Speed Automatic Transmissions
- In the future, cars will develop into friendly robots that can help lost children and serve more than one purpose, according to a lengthy treatise on the future of the automobile published on Friday by Daimler.
- Cars "are developing into robots with their own intelligence and the capacity to act," Daimler said.
- Daimler asks the key question: "Will we get along with intelligent, autonomous robotic vehicles moving back and forth and around us?"
DEARBORN, Michigan — Ford Motor Company and General Motors announced today that the two companies have signed an agreement to develop all-new nine- and 10-speed transmissions.
Ford says the new transmissions will be used for cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks, and will be built in both front- and rear-wheel-drive configurations.
The new transmissions will "improve vehicle performance and increase fuel economy," according to Ford.
Chrysler recently introduced its first production vehicle with the company's new nine-speed automatic transmission, a first in the industry.
Engineering teams from GM and Ford have already started initial design work on these new transmissions," said Jim Lanzon, GM vice president of global transmission engineering in a statement. "We expect these new transmissions to raise the standard of technology, performance and quality for our customers while helping drive fuel economy improvements into both companies' future product portfolios."
This is the third time GM and Ford have collaborated on transmissions. A shared six-speed front-wheel-drive transmission is used in the Ford Edge, Escape, Explorer and Fusion. GM uses the same transmission in its Chevrolet Cruze, Equinox, Malibu and Traverse.
Ford says each automaker will manufacture its own transmissions in its own plants with "many common components."
"The goal is to keep hardware identical in the Ford and GM transmissions. This will maximize parts commonality and give both companies economy of scale," said Craig Renneker, Ford's chief engineer for transmission and driveline component and pre-program engineering in a statement. "However, we will each use our own control software to ensure that each transmission is carefully matched to the individual brand-specific vehicle DNA for each company."
Edmunds says: Expect to see more collaborations like this in the future as major car companies look to reduce the cost of major development projects like transmissions and engines.