Just as the engines that power commercial vehicles get “smarter” with each succeeding generation, so do the transmissions that deliver the power generated to the wheels so that fuel-efficient operation can be maximized. In addition, a key element of transmission design for OEMs is how easily gearboxes can be integrated into vehicle powertrains.

Addressing both those crucial concerns, Allison Transmission has announced that its “5th Generation” electronic controls are now available to all OEM customers. The transmission manufacturer said these controls aim “to match the new generation of global vehicle electrical-electronic architectures and for easy integration during the vehicle assembly process”

“The combination of Allison Transmission’s Continuous Power Technology and the latest 5th Generation electronic controls is the best way to provide our customers with enhanced fuel economy as well as improved vehicle performance, fleet productivity and efficiency,” stated Steve Spurlin, Allison’s executive director of Application Engineering & Vehicle Integration

According to Allison, its 5th Generation controls are “flexible,” in that they provide “optimal shift strategies for industry-leading productivity and efficiency, while still addressing varying OEM and operator requirements.”

The 5th Generation controls feature enhanced programming and a brand new “bump lever” gear-selector design.

Allison pointed out that its engineers also focused on upgrading Transmission Control Module(TCM) hardware and software “for faster, more precise processing capabilities.”

Embedded in the 5th Generation control module is a new inclinometer, which Allison said enhances vehicle productivity and efficiency in stop-start operations.

The inclinometer’s precision and responsiveness improve Load Based Shift Scheduling (LBSS) performance, the manufacturer explained, “as the automatic selection between economy and performance shift schedules is faster and more accurate, resulting in further reductions in fuel consumption.”

The new controls also provide two additional acceleration levels, which Allison said “enhances enhancing Vehicle Acceleration Control (VAC) to allow for an even greater ability to improve fuel economy by controlling engine fueling and moderating aggressive driving practices.”

Allison advised that specific features of its 5th Generation electronic controls will be rolled out throughout 2013 and that buyers should contact their OEM regarding these offerings.