Automatic Transmission In Cars
The need to shift from manual to automatic transmission
The key difference between a manual and an automatic transmission is that the manual transmission locks and unlocks different sets of gears to the output shaft to achieve the various gear ratios, while in an automatic transmission the same set of gears produces all of the different gear ratios. The planetary gear set is the device that makes this possible in an automatic transmission. Driving a manual transmission is especially painful in stop-and-go traffic, where you constantly have to change your gear state. You might also make the case that having to concentrate on shifting your transmission takes some of your attention away from the actual driving, which is dangerous, because you might be concentrating on your tachometer or your gearshift when you really should be focusing on the traffic. An automatic transmission bypasses these problems entirely .
Planetary Gear Sets
The automatic system for current automobiles uses a planetary gear set instead of the traditional manual transmission gear set. The planetary gear set contains four parts: sun gear, planet gears, planet carrier, and ring gear (see Figure 1 .) Based on this planetary set design, sun gear, planet carrier, and ring gear spin centrifugally. By locking one of them, the planetary set can generate three different gear ratios, including one reverse gear, without engaging and disengaging the gear set.
Normally an automatic transmission system has two planetary gear sets with different sizes of sun gears with their planet gears inter-meshed. Only one planet carrier is used to connect both sets of planet gears. This is called a compound planetary gear set. This design can generate four different gear ratios and one reverse gear.