Some automatic transmissions are able to place the vehicle in neutral while coasting in order to maximise fuel economy. Toyota is looking to mimic this function on the humble manual transmission, according to this patent filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office.

The transmission described in the patent works like any other manual transmission, but comes with a controller that is capable of operating the clutch and gearbox. Should the system detect that coasting is possible, it will automatically disengage the clutch, allowing for engine-idle coasting.

The system also comes with shift lock pins that are engaged to prevent drivers from shifting to the wrong gear (too high or too low) given the vehicle’s speed. This prevents drivers, particularly inexperienced ones, from over-revving or lugging the engine if they find themselves in the wrong gear once coasting ends.

The patent doesn’t reveal a specific control method for this coasting control system, but it will likely be configurable to different setups. However, will this system be relevant given the popularity of automatic transmissions these days?