Automobiles are equipped with either a manual or an automatic transmission.
A manual transmission relies on the driver to engage/disengage the clutch and shift gears by means of a lever. Race car drivers still swear by a manual transmission, as it allows them to extract the maximum acceleration from each gear and provides them with more control over the car.
However, for daily driving, they are simply instruments of fatigue. This irritation led to the development of automatic transmissions, where the hassle of shifting gears is delegated to electromechanical systems.
Commonly found automatic transmissions include torque converter-based transmissions, Automated Manual Transmissions (AMTs), Dual Clutch Transmissions (DCTs) and Continuously Variable Transmissions (CVTs).
However, a segment of our global society remaining loyal to manual transmission created some chaos, which is why manu-matic transmissions were developed. They enable the driver to shift gears at will with the click of a button, without having to engage and disengage the clutch physically.
The future of transmission
Gearboxes have an inherent disadvantage: the availability of torque. It’s only available up to certain RPMs, beyond which goading the engine onward will result in mechanical failure.
Having brought the internal combustion engine to the brink of extinction, the death of the transmission is also imminent. Electric motors are capable of supplying peak torque figures consistently.
With the advent of electric vehicles in the mainstream automobile realm, it’s only a matter of time before cars become efficient couches on wheels!