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Error handling of a clutch by wire system

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000249757D
Publication Date: 2017-Mar-31
Document File: 4 page(s) / 158K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present solution relates to clutch by wire system and a method of controlling a clutch by wire system comprising a control unit configured to detect errors or malfunctions of the clutch by wire system, such as a clutch pedal sensor and a clutch actuator. The control unit is configured to deactivate the clutch by wire system if an error or malfunction is detected. Further, the control unit may be configured to detect some specific situations, such as an activated limp home mode, and in response to such detections deactivate the clutch by wire system.

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Error handling of a clutch by wire system

ABSTRACT

The present solution relates to clutch by wire system and a method of controlling a clutch by wire system comprising a control unit configured to detect errors or malfunctions of the clutch by wire system, such as a clutch pedal sensor and a clutch actuator. The control unit is configured to deactivate the clutch by wire system if an error or malfunction is detected. Further, the control unit may be configured to detect some specific situations, such as an activated limp home mode, and in response to such detections deactivate the clutch by wire system.

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 being 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.

A problem with a clutch by wire system is that an error or malfunction occurring in a component such as the clutch actuator, clutch pedal sensor etc., may lead to a potentially dangerous situation since a driver of the vehicle may not be able to disengage power transmission from the engine to the gearbox and the drive...