Vidcast: The Disappearing Manual Transmission

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Here are a few thoughts about the slow-motion extinction of the manual transmission:

If you missed the previous Vidcasts, they’re here and here.

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    Shank predicts driverless cars to be in common use by the end of the decade, and areas where only driverless cars are permitted. Personal ownership of cars will be less common with people opting for need-based rental. He also predicts car-less cities and suburbs which look far different than today (I am not sure how he driver-less cars).

  2. You will pry the manual transmission out of my cold dead hands! I will NEVER own an automatic. I hate driving automatics. I love the connection between my foot and the drive wheels. Driving an automatic is like driving my desk, soulless. That is the primary reason I ordered a new 2015 Tacoma with the 6-speed.

    • I prefer manuals myself, Brian.

      But I’m fine with people buying automatics, if that is their preference.

      The thing I take issue with is the way the government distorts the market – and creates “false positive” incentives, often contrary to what the market would otherwise select for.

      A really good example is the way market demand for fuel-efficient vehicles is obstructed by government “safety” mandates – which effectively force the manufacture of heavy and so inherently less fuel-efficient vehicles.

      If government has any legitimate business, it is preventing tangible harm to innocent victims of aggressive violence and dealing with those who commit acts of aggressive violence.

      Decreeing design parameters for motor vehicles is way out of bounds.

    • Dear Brian,

      Ditto. I’ve never purchased an automatic transmission equipped car in my life, and doubt I ever will.

      I’ve driven rentals with automatics just to get around. But I can’t imagine plunking down good money to sit behind the wheel of a car thatn only has two pedals and no stick. What would I do with myself? I’d be bored to death!

      Then I’d have to have all sorts of “media center” type “features” to make me forget I was bored out of my mind.

      • You know as well as I, commuting in a manual can suck.
        50 miles a day on the PA Turnpike.
        2.5 hours, normally. 30 minutes before PA Trunpike, 15 after.
        But that one, straight road…? NO ONE could drive it. WTF…?

        Burn out a clutch waiting for some idiot to realize (s)he has a gas pedal? BAH!!!

        • The problem is not the manual transmission. In a country where most people have MTs such difficulties (largely, if not entirely) go away. The problem is so many people driving ATs.

      • Wow, you described my recent change to a T.

        I went from having a Honda Fit to a Chevy Cruze Diesel, and the big distraction is all of this electronics crap. It’s like Big Brother on four wheels.

        One good thing about the AT though is that I can have remote start.

    • I believe that standard transmissions are safer because they keep you involved in your driving. Innovations like manual transmissions and cruise control allow you to drift into your own world while you are on the highway. I already have a stereo system in my living room for that.


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