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Error handling of a clutch by wire system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249750D
Publication Date: 2017-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 181K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present solution relates to a clutch by wire system and a method of controlling a clutch by wire system comprising a control unit. The control unit is configured to put a transmission, i.e. a gearbox and/or a clutch, of a vehicle hosting the system in a safe state in case an error or malfunction is detected in the clutch by wire system. The transition to the safe state may encompass disengaging the clutch using a clutch actuator, and/or engaging a neutral gear of a gearbox, using a gearbox actuator. The control unit is further configured to provide a request to switch to an automatic clutch control mode in a driver environment of the vehicle. A driver of the vehicle may then in response to the request confirm and safely activate the automatic clutch control mode.

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Error handling of a clutch by wire system

ABSTRACT

The present solution relates to a clutch by wire system and a method of controlling a clutch by wire system comprising a control unit. The control unit is configured to put a transmission, i.e. a gearbox and/or a clutch, of a vehicle hosting the system in a safe state in case an error or malfunction is detected in the clutch by wire system. The transition to the safe state may encompass disengaging the clutch using a clutch actuator, and/or engaging a neutral gear of a gearbox, using a gearbox actuator. The control unit is further configured to provide a request to switch to an automatic clutch control mode in a driver environment of the vehicle. A driver of the vehicle may then in response to the request confirm and safely activate the automatic clutch control mode.

BACKGROUND

A vehicle clutch is an arrangement used for engaging and disengaging power transmission from an engine to a gearbox of a vehicle. An output shaft of the gearbox is usually connected to a final drive being permanently connected to driven wheels of the vehicle. There are different designs of vehicle clutches but most are based on one or more friction discs pressed tightly together or against a flywheel using springs. Traditionally, a clutch is controlled via a clutch pedal connected to a control lever of the clutch via a physical connection such as a mechanical linkage, wire or a hydraulic system. Displacement of the clutch pedal is transferred to the control lever via the physical connection when the clutch pedal is depressed. The displacement of the control lever releases pressure of the springs in the clutch which disengages power transmission from the engine to the gearbox.

A clutch by wire system is a system where the traditional physical connection is replaced by a clutch actuator, a clutch pedal sensor arranged to monitor a position of the clutch pedal and to generate a signal representative thereof, and a control unit, where the control unit is configured to control actuation of the clutch actuator on the basis of the signal generated by the clutch pedal sensor. One advantage of a clutch by wire system is that the force required to press the clutch pedal to control the clutch can be freely designed, for example by choosing stiffness and size of a spring arranged to bias the clutch pedal towards a neutral position. Accordingly, the force required to press the clutch pedal can be designed such that it is significantly lower than a force required to press a clutch pedal connected to a clutch via a physical connection. In addition, the connection between the clutch pedal and the clutch actuator requires less space and can more easily be fitted onto a vehicle than a physical connection comprising mechanical linkages, wire, and/or hydraulic components, since the connection can be obtained using electrical wiring. Further, since a clutch by wire system comprises a clutch actuator and a clutch pedal sensor, it may easily...