As a car enthusiast and a person who loves driving a manual transmission car, I am afraid manual transmissions are dying. Let’s understand why manual transmission is not what people are looking to buy nowadays. And the automatic transmission is getting popular. Also, the fact that electric cars are the future, and they don’t need any kind of transmission.
Why automatic transmission are becoming more popular?
In earlier days automatic transmission was not efficient and was expensive to build, so the automatic transmission was not popular.
Around 2007 automatic transmission became a better option than a manual transmission, as the automatic transmission technology became more efficient than a manual transmission.
Fuel efficiency is one of the major reasons people didn’t opt for automatic in earlier days, but nowadays you get better fuel economy in an automatic when compared to a manual transmission.
If you drive a sports car, you get a better launch in an automatic transmission when compared to a manual, because you get a launch control system, which helps you for a good launch, Anyone can launch an automatic transmission with launch control pretty easily. But in the manual transmission, you need the skill to get a perfect launch.
And one of the most important reasons automatic transmission are getting popular is, it is easy for anyone to drive in any kind of situation.
There are various types of automatic transmissions, like DCT, torque converter, CVT, automated manual and more, you can read about them in detail here. CVT & DCT are one of the most efficient forms of automatic transmission.
Let’s see scenarios where automatic is better than manual for a average driver
|Situations||Automatic Transmission||Manual transmission|
|In traffic||Much easier to navigate and drive and less stressful||Needs constant attention, and becomes tedious for the average driver|
|On highway||Easier to cruise using adaptive cruise control||You cannot cruise easily, as adaptive cruise control is not practical in Manual transmission|
|While overtaking||One can easily overtake without worrying about in which gear they are, as it is taken care of by automatic transmission||You need to downshift to overtake in certain situations, which can be difficult for an average driver|
Why people are opting for Automatic transmission?
This is clearly seen by the statistics below
With the growing amount of traffic and congestion around the world, people get tired while driving and manual transmission adds to it. So people who commute daily prefer an automatic transmission, which reduces the stress on the driver. It reduces drivers efforts of shifting the gear.
With the advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control and lane assist basically level 2 of vehicle autonomy has become common in cars today. And these safety features are difficult to be added to a manual transmission. Adaptive cruise control is not practical in a manual transmission vehicle as when the speed is reduced you need to change gear, for that you need to press the clutch, and when you press the clutch the adaptive cruise control is disengaged.
Electric cars, do not need a transmission, so there is no point talking about transmission. Though some cars have 2-speed automatic transmission, like Porsche Taycan and Audi e-Tron GT. Also, there is a Manual Electric Porsche 356 that is custom built by Electrogenic.
We can put a manual transmission in electric cars, but there is no point in doing that, as it will add more weight and there will be efficiency loss, and the electric cars can rev high so they do not need a transmission.
Why are manual transmissions dying and will it fade out completely?
Probably yes, as the automatic transmission is becoming more efficient and cheaper to build, the manual transmission starts to make no sense at all.
Though there are a few pros for Manual transmissions
- More engaging and fun to drive
- Having complete control over gears and when to shift is up to the driver
- Less complex & expensive to repair and also the vehicle cost less
Though most drivers do not prefer a manual transmission, some enthusiasts like me would definitely love a Manual transmission over an automatic transmission. For only one reason, it is more engaging to drive and requires constant driver involvement.
Though I believe even if we get autonomous vehicles on the road, we will still have few Manual transmission cars on the road.
So what are your thoughts do you think Manual transmissions are dying?