Japan wants to become the masters of the transmission.
As the automotive industry becomes more global automakers are looking to be competitive through any means possible. While some companies are very particular about which suppliers they use, others have decided to team up to simplify and improve their products. Take Ford and GM for example. The two American companies teamed up to develop an excellent 10-speed automatic transmission. Automotive News Europe reports that Japanese automakers are following suit in order to develop their own new transmission technology.
The country's nine automakers - including Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota, and others - will partner with the country's two largest transmission suppliers to jointly develop next-generation transmission technology. The two competition suppliers (Toyota Group supplier Aisin and Nissan-affiliated CVT specialist Jatco) will now work together to develop new technologies for the nine automakers. The partnership is called Transmission Research Association for Mobility Innovation (TRAMI), and will be lead by Honda's Toshiaki Maeda. TRAMI will even partner with universities around Japan to conduct research and develop engineering talent for the Japanese auto sector.
Unlike Ford and GM's partnership, TRAMI won't be focusing on building a specific transmission, but rather the technology that will go into future transmissions. It is too early to tell what the consortium will work on, but some important improvements may include: weight reduction, reducing friction and energy loss, improving torque, improving CVTs, creating next-generation hybrid vehicle transmissions, and improving reduction gears for EVs.