Social Question

SQUEEKY2's avatar

In your opinion, why are auto makers phasing out the manual transmission on a lot of their vehicles?

Asked by SQUEEKY2 (6700 points ) August 21st, 2014

I prefer a manual transmission, but find that it is only an option on the full size diesel pickups.
Has the public lost the skill to operate a manual transmission?
Has the public become to lazy, and stupid to operate a manual transmission?

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84 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I know a few people will turn their nose up and huff, by saying automatic transmissions are now just as economical as a manual so why bother with a manual.
BUT, that doesn’t really answer the question, are they scaling back or phasing out because people have lost the skill, or are to lazy?

hominid's avatar

I just purchased my first car with an automatic less than a week ago. Why did I go with automatic? The manual transmission option in the car I bought is worse in fuel economy.

I have had a preference for MT for the past 26 years. But you seem to feel pretty strongly about it in a way that goes beyond personal preference. (“lazy”?)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Lazy might sum it up. A lot of people don’t want to make the effort to use a manual transmission, so the carmakers cater to that mind set. Plus it is a little trickier in hilly regions.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@hominid just how better in fuel is the auto in your make , compared to the manual? is it outstanding, or marginal?

hominid's avatar

@SQUEEKY2: ”@hominid just how better in fuel is the auto in your make , compared to the manual? is it outstanding, or marginal?”

6-speed:
– 29 (city)
– 37 (highway)
– 32 (combined)

automatic:
– 33 (city)
– 41 (highway)
– 36 (combined)

That’s enough of a difference for me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I had a Z-28 with a five speed. I can’t imagine an automatic would be anywhere near as much fun.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe exactly, they are making transports with automatics now, the boss was thinking of trying one, my cross shift and I said do ,and start looking for two drivers as well, he dropped that idea quick.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

In a heavy duty tractor, that would seem an insane idea. I want more control of something like that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They phase them out because the market doesn’t want them. They don’t sell. GM and Ford aren’t going to make cars that have no chance of selling.

People grew up on automatics. That’s where the market is.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@elbanditoroso but shouldn’t they still be an option for people who have the skill, and want them?

filmfann's avatar

I bought my manual transmission 1982 Subaru before I had been taught how to drive a stick.
I committed myself to learning how to drive it.
Today, I think driving a stick is real driving. Driving an automatic is more like pointing the car in the direction you want to go. A stick shift is just more fun.

gorillapaws's avatar

My Jeep is a manual (I’ve always driven manuals). I find it gives me more control, and forces me to be more mentally engaged while driving (even on a subconscious level). Having said that, in gridlock, it’s such a chore. If I lived near DC, I’d get an automatic in an instant, without hesitation. Is it possible traffic has generally gotten worse and more people face punishing bumper-to-bumper these days than before?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@filmfann exactly, I just wish auto makers would still just let us have the option, guess I will nurse my old truck a bit more.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@gorillapaws try gridlock with something that is 82 feet long and has 18 gears, but I would still rather do that than drive an auto matic.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Ive never had an automatic, and we have gridlock. I don’t know. I’ve never known what it’s like to stop, go, stop, go in an automatic. Doesn’t your foot still have to move?

gorillapaws's avatar

@trailsillustrated you basically just take your foot off the break, idle forward (no gas), and break again.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – the auto companies are not obligated to produce cars that don’t sell.

I personally like driving manual, but if I were a car company, I couldn’t justify all th different parts and the need for a different assembly line for manual shift cars.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

It’s like @elbanditoroso said. Automakers are phasing out manual transmissions because the market for them isn’t there anymore. So why isn’t it there? I don’t think it’s fair to call people lazy. If there were no automatics, everyone who drives them now would have learned to drive an MT instead. But we don’t wash our laundry by hand anymore, either. The technology has moved on, even if those of us who grew up driving stick have trouble understanding why. Automatic has become normal, and the kids are just driving what they were taught to drive.

syz's avatar

I have no idea. I had to have a manual shipped in, there were none to found locally.

LuckyGuy's avatar

In my previous life I was and engineer for a large car company. We did engine calibrations and took it right through to certification with the EPA. I even worked on a shift light schedule! With the best dynos and monitoring equipment on the planet an in perfectly controlled conditions we were able to calibrate the shift light so at light load you got best fuel economy, at mid range you got low emissions and at near wide open throttle to wide open you got best performance. If was not a monkey simple “shift at x rpm” algorithm. Every gear shift took into account the engine torque at that particular rpm and where you would end up on the torque curve for the next gear so you were always operating on the best part of the torque curve. But there was more! We anticipated the driver’s reaction time to the light. Every 6ms we looked at what the driver and vehicle were doing and predicted what would happened in the next 6ms. We then turned the light on before it was necessary to accommodate for the driver delay. We even adjusted the anticipator based upon throttle position.
To certify the vehicle for EPA and CARB we had to supply x number of vehicles and have drivers follow the schedule precisely. That is how the fuel economy and emission figures are determined. That cost a lot of money. Divide that by the number of cars sold with that option and you can see that adds quite bit to the price of the car if it is not a popular option. .
By the way once the shift schedule was set the driver could and would ignore them as they wished. In no case could they beat the schedule we developed.
The automatic transmission guys had it easy. They did not have to worry about the driver. They could optimize without the human in the loop. They just use torque sensors, speed, load, g sensors, etc. Automatics got more efficient with the addition of torque converter clutches so there no longer was the loss they used to have. Automatics started to increase the number of gears too. 4 gears, then 5, then 6. And now, Continuously Variable! (effectively infinite gears).
Times change. You have airbags now. In 2015 you will have a backup camera. Soon you will have radar braking and crash avoidance. That will be followed by vehicle to vehicle communication and herding.

~ Besides, you can’t slurp your Starbux and send that text to Brittney if you have to shift. ~

SQUEEKY2's avatar

~ Besides, you can’t slurp your Starbux and send that text to Brittney if you have to shift. ~

Exactly, just wondering if it is making the public lazy and stupid,just another thing to take the driver(human) out of the driving experience, I find operating an automatic transmission about as much fun as watching paint dry.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@LuckyGuy A light would come on to tell the driver when to shift? I always went by feel and what I was trying to get the car to do.

Darth_Algar's avatar

It’s a bit asinine to say that people are “lazy” and “stupid” simply because they don’t share your personal preference.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar just think about it, operating an automatic is just one less thing the driver has to do or think about, if you saw half the things I see idiot drivers do you wouldn’t say asinine.
operating a manual gets you more in touch with driving and the road, than an automatic.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yes. There was/is a light on some models. By having the driver follow shift light schedule the car manufacturer could get a significantly higher fuel economy rating while still meeting emissions.
I, too, used to just do it by ear and peeking at the tach every now and then.

@SQUEEKY2 Have you driven a car with CVT? It is incredible. Light load, heavy load high speed low speed. It is perfect.
Whether we are talking a car, truck, a fighter plane, ship safety and efficiency goes up as repetitive tasks are automated and operator load is reduced. Back in the day drivers had to adjust mixture, and spark while driving. That went out with the dinosaurs.

If you are using the clutch and gear shift to prevent Brianna from texting I’d suggest another innovation on the horizon – a near field jamming device that prevents anyone in the driver’s seat from operating a phone unless vehicle speed is 0. What do you think that would do to new car sales?

Did you watch Clyde in the cab-over yesterday? He pulled out of the TA with an extra large bacon burger with provolone and a 20 oz. coffee. At least he wasn’t texting. ;-)

By the way I still have my H1E Kawasaki – all 5 gears up. There’s nothing like getting the synchro speeds right so it slides into gear smoothly without the clutch.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Right. Certainly no one ever cause a wreck from not paying attention to the road before automatics became common place.

Buttonstc's avatar

As the baby boomers age so does the occurence of Osteo-arthritis.

I’d love to see you in heavy traffic working that clutch when you have no cartilage left in your knees. It’s not laziness. It’s called PAIN.

I’d love to be around to see you in your senior years if your knees are shot and watch the expression on your face when someone accuses you of laziness just because their joints work fine and yours don’t. Too bad there’s no way we can age you just for a day, watch you struggle with the pain and then develop just a tiny smidgen of compassion for others.

But who knows, perhaps you’d still be accusing them of laziness and stupidity just to feed your enormous ego.

downtide's avatar

This phenomenon isn’t happening in the UK. Automatic transmission is more expensive and most people tend not to go for them unless they have some particular disability than makes using a manual more difficult. The only people I have ever known with automatics were older people. Except for one guy, who was loaded with money and always bought the most expensive model he could find.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here’s an interesting article published in Edmunds Five myths about stick shifts .
It is 2 years old so by now the fuel economy between the auto and manual are virtually identical. If there is a difference, it is trivial.
Also they mentioned that manual is not always cheaper and some cars even have the same price. Since then I estimate (I did not check() most cars have the same price now.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 When writing first became popular, all the bards who had spent their lives memorizing long odes and histories said it would make the next generations lazy and stupid. In truth, it just freed up time and energy to use on other tasks. Time marches on, you know?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield, Freed up time and energy to use on other tasks?????While driving??
You must know by now I drive transport trucks for a living and the things I have seen people do on the road would freeze your blood, and if a manual transmission would turn their focus back to driving instead of being freed up for other tasks.that in my book would be a good thing to everyone on the road.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@LuckyGuy The one thing I liked about that article was manual vehicles are less likely to be stolen since less and less people know how to operate them.

I do agree that with the advances in technology the fuel difference is slight if not more in favour of the auto matic, but it’s slight.
I would like something anything that would turn peoples attention back to driving, and not something that frees up their time and energy while they are driving.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Your assumption is that manual transmission makes people pay attention to the road. It doesn’t. It just becomes one more repetitive task that people perform without thought.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Keep in mind that the vast majority of people are not driving because they love the experience. Rather they are driving because they want to get somewhere fast. And maybe safe. They are not driving for the aesthetic joy of the journey.

For those people, Automatics are better because they don’t require any thought.

A very small percentage of people – usually ones who drive Ferraris – are driving because they like the control.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar Ok instead of arguing with you,that I know you like,YOU tell me what will it take to get people to pay more attention to driving and what is happening on the road?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@elbanditoroso(Automatics are better because they don’t require any thought.)
But shouldn’t drivers be using the thought process while driving??

elbanditoroso's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – not a questiion of SHOULD or SHOULDN’T—that is an idealistic way of you telling another person how you think they should act.

In real life, they have made that decision – they DON’T want to think.

(Consider things like beepers that go off when you are backing up too close to another car. consider the GM invention that beeps if you go out of your lane. And what about cruise control? SHould that be banned?)

Darth_Algar's avatar

Dude, if someone’s not a careful driver they’re not suddenly going to become one just because you stick them with an automatic transmission. And if thousands of fatal car accidents per year for decades doesn’t make some people more careful then I don’t know what will. But I get the feeling that you’re simply now trying to use this line of argument to justify your initial charge of people who drive automatics as “stupid and lazy”.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Uh, no. Not while driving. There was no such thing as driving back when writing was first invented, so how could you get that out of what I wrote? The point was that every time technology changes things, the generation used to the old way complains that it will make the next generation lazy and stupid. And they’re always wrong.

Besides, people in manual transmissions do as much stupid stuff on the road as anyone else. Bad driving has nothing to do with the car, after all.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@elbanditoroso OMG no,those highly skilled and intelligent drivers need all those aids while driving,it frees up time and energy for other things like playing with the remote to the stereo , or texting friends and family,isn’t technology great?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@JeSuisRickSpringfield OK if it is not lazy, and we will leave stupid out of it, why are the masses preferring automatics to manuals,it can’t be all for a slight better fuel economy?

Maybe it’s like @elbanditoroso said it’s not for the driving experience the masses just want to get from point A to B as quickly as possible, with little to no thought process , to me and we will still leave stupid out of it, sounds lazy.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Or maybe people already have enough demands on their limited time and wish to spend as little of that limited time as possible in their car.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar And what does that have to do with what kind of transmission they have?

Darth_Algar's avatar

@SQUEEKY2

I didn’t say that it did.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar Ok so what then were you referring to??

LuckyGuy's avatar

@hominid @SQUEEKY2 @hominid‘s post way up there ^^^ pointed out that fuel economy is about 10% better with the automatic. You’ll find the performance figures to be better too. The shifts are perfect and faster thana human can do it.
Here’s a feature that really killed me… traction control. You’d figurea skillful driver can certainly outperform a car with T/C. Nope. Why? Physics. For tires on pavement the coefficient of static friction is higher than the coefficient of sliding friction. That is obvious. What is not obvious is that at a seed of between .3 and 5% wheel slip the coefficient of friction is actually greater than static. That means if you can make your wheels spin just 4% your tires will be stickier on the rad and help you accelrate faster if you have the torque. Traction control uses wheels speed sensors on all the wheels and adjusts your throttle to keep you in the sweet spot. This works equally well on dry pavement and on ice and in snow. Try it! It works so well it will piss you off. You stomp on the gas and go and you accelerate faster than the best driver in pre-T/C days.
@SQUEEKY2 Anything that reduces driver distraction improves safety. It is well documented that accident rates per mile are down and continue to drop.

The reasons car manufacturers are eliminating manuals are listed above: economy, performance, safety, cost – and lack of sufficient customer interest.
Don’t hold your breath waiting for them to come back. In a few years you will find them on the shelf next to carburetors and vacuum advance diaphragms.

Darth_Algar's avatar

@SQUEEKY2

Are you unable to follow your own conversations?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Darth_Algar guess not, are you going to tell me what you were referring to or not?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

We are adding bells and whistles galore cameras, blue tooth and stereos that do everything but wash the damn car, but lets do away with the manual transmission because that adds to many distractions?

LuckyGuy's avatar

Nope let’s do away with manual transmission because ^^“The reasons car manufacturers are eliminating manuals are listed above: economy, performance, safety, cost – and lack of sufficient customer interest.”

Some customers want bluetooth and stereos and are willing to pay for them.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It doesn’t take any more thought at all to drive a manual. If you have to think about it, then I guess you shouldn’t be driving a manual.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@LuckyGuy I will believe the economy thing sure, you might get me to swallow the performance thing as well that will take more time though, I can already see that the masses prefer automatics to manuals, guess I will never fit in the the masses.
BUT try as you will you will NEVER! NEVER convince me that an automatic is safer than a manual transmission, sorry I just aint going to buy that hook no matter how hard you or anyone tries.
Guess I will keep nursing my old truck a bit more before I have to drive a fucking automatic.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I just hope they don’t completely phase them out in transport trucks,because they are starting to rear their ugly heads in the big trucks as well.
82feet long and 63,500kgs on an ice covered mountain highway with a fucking automatic, doesn’t sound like a good time to me.

jonsblond's avatar

I wash dishes by hand. People who use a dishwasher are lazy.~

As @JeSuisRickSpringfield said, technology has moved on.

I never had the coordination to drive manual. I tried driving my best friend’s manual in the mid 80s when I was learning how to drive. I tried many many times. I just couldn’t get it right. I got stuck in Las Vegas traffic so many times. It was a nightmare for me, I can only imagine how irritated the other drivers were when they were waiting for me to go at a green light and I couldn’t move more than a few inches. Was I lazy? No. Fearful, especially after repeated failures? Probably.

I drive an automatic and I don’t text while I drive, do my hair, eat, talk on the phone, speed and I’ve never caused an accident. I know that I need to give large vehicles space and I know to never cut them off, especially before a stop. You can say I’m a safe driver. The insurance company I use hates me because I don’t give them a reason to raise my insurance.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 The automatics are already in the works. With 18 gears, you are only a sliver away from a high torque CVT or full semi-auto. I’ve driven a New Holland T9 tractor , 450hp 4WD, that had a transmission called “full powershift”. From standing still you can put it in the gear you want, (say 10), stomp the throttle and it will accelerate and run through the gears for you! I could watch the gear number count up on the heads-up display as it accelerated. We took it out on the road (in Kansas) so I could max it out. While at top speed the guy told me to slam it into reverse. I gritted my teeth and did it expecting to hear grinding. Nope! The monster slowly started decelerating and counting the gears down until it stopped momentarily and then began to run up in reverse. There were only 2 reverse gears.

Not too far away is all wheel ABS for trucks to keep your rig from jack-knifing. Specially equipped trailers talk to similarly equipped tractors. Wheel speed sensors and a body mounted radar unit measure speed and send it to the body computer that can make more than 50 corrections per second. The driver steps on the brake to tell the rig to stop, but it’s actually the computer and bank of solenoids doing the real actuation. That single pressure sensor mounted in the tongue will become a fossil.
Want more big brother? There are devices in the works that monitor driver attention by looking at head motion and steering wheel corrections and set off an alarm if they detect the driver is falling asleep. As more vehicles are equipped with GPS even more functions and capabilities become available- lane wander alarms, high speed when approaching corners, etc.
It’s a new world out there. If you like the “old ways” keep your truck going as long as you can.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@LuckyGuy We have had ABS here for the big trucks for years, and it’s not a bad thing.
Now let me tell you a couple of friends worked for this trucking company, that this big wig thought it would be a great idea that the truck it self applied the brakes if you went into a corner to fast,it did it through it’s computer system, the drivers that experienced this marvel, thought it was a holy nightmare and threatened to quit on mass if the program wasn’t removed from the units computer system.
The company complied ,and the big wig was fired , guess the program wasn’t cheap, NOT all technology is super, and if you want a driver behind the wheel at all , you better not remove us to far out of the equation.

JeSuisRickSpringfield's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 I think the “masses” are preferring automatics in part just because of exposure. I learned to drive manual, and so did my best friend. But most of the people my age (I’m a so-called “Millennial”) weren’t even given the option. They were just taught on an automatic, and that’s all they’ve ever known.

My mother can drive stick, but she wanted me to have an automatic when I got my first car. I think she thought it would be safer or easier or something. My father ended up giving me his ancient Honda DX when he bought a new car, though, which had a manual transmission. So I learned to drive on that, but it wasn’t exactly a choice on my part.

hearkat's avatar

I learned on a manual 3-speed with no power steering or power brakes, and no right side-view mirror. Why don’t automakers build those anymore?

I don’t find it hard to find a model with manual trans, but that is because I prefer European auto makes. But they aren’t stocked, so one might have to order it.

Where I live, there is too much congestion for driving a manual to be much fun, although I do miss it at times. I did consider having a manual trans as a theft-deterrent, too.

P.S. to @LuckyGuy – I could sip my coffee, eat a hot bagel slathered with scallion cream cheese, shift and text via T9 on the old cell phones back in the early-aughts!

jerv's avatar

I would like to know which market we are talking here.

There are certain sports models that will never hit US shores as they are manual-only. In Europe, most cars on the road are stick shift. So the only answer I can really give is that you are talking solely about the US auto market and ignoring the rest of the world.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@jerv TRUE, my main bitch is the North American pickup truck market,and wanted to stay within it, but I may have to look at Nissan or a Toyota to get what I want.
Shame because I did want to stay in North America for my auto choices , but guess that is ending.

rojo's avatar

I think the real question here is why do they even bother to offer the manual transmission at all? It is so old school. It served a purpose up until the automatic transmission was invented and now is kind of like the appendix of the automobile. It serves no useful purpose that we can see. ; )

jerv's avatar

@rojo That statement makes it sound like you only “drive” (and I use that term very loosely) for the sake of getting from point A to point B. You don’t enjoy the experience, nor do you seek to feel any sort of thrill, or Zen-like calm; you just want to get where you are going.

If I am even close to correct, if you are someone who doesn’t actually truly drive, then there really is no explaining it to you, but I will try.

Why are people even bothering meeting face-to-face now that we have internet? It is so old-school. Seeing people in the flesh served a purpose until the Internet was invented and now is kind of the appendix of social interaction. Dealing with people by non-electronic means serves no purpose that we can see.

jca's avatar

I am late to this thread (as usual).

I learned to drive at 18 on a manual. My parents’ cars were only manual, so if I wanted to learn to drive on their cars and possibly drive their cars, I had no choice. That was in the early 80’s. My first car was a manual Honda Civic. My mom told me “if you ever have to pay to replace an automatic transmission, you’ll understand.” I also figured it’s good to know how to drive manual, because if I’m ever in a situation where there’s only a manual available, I can drive it.

I was not taught to shift by speed, necessarily, but by speed and how the car felt. I didn’t use the tachometer. When I felt the car rev, I shifted. I have a friend who, along with her hubby, own manual transmission cars and he taught her to shift way too low. As a result, they have had to replace a few clutches. She’d be barely out of her driveway and already in 3rd gear. The car would feel weak but no, she was doing 30 and so 3rd was what she thought was correct.

In my years of car buying and owning, I’ve switched to automatic. I can tell you I now have a Honda Civic that I bought new in 2008 that now has over 195k miles on it. I have never had to replace an automatic tranny yet.

I wish I could say I drive for the experience. I drive at least 45 minutes each way to work, and my main goal is to get there quickly and painlessly.

Still to this day, when I drive manual transmission, I don’t think about it any more than I think about driving the automatic. It’s effortless.

I think calling people who prefer automatic “lazy and stupid” is making an assumption. @SQUEEKY2, it seems every piece of evidence that has been presented here to the contrary of “lazy and stupid” (for example, all of @LuckyGuy‘s and @Buttonstc‘s examples of why auto makers are phasing out manuals) has been argued and refuted by you. You seem stuck on your opinion of “lazy and stupid.”

If the difference in MPG is marginal, and as the baby boomers get older, and as technology improves, we’ll likely see less manuals available, even with special order. Not everyone wants to drive for an enthralling experience. Some of us just want to get there.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Here is another snapshot of things to come. V2V, Vehicle to Vehicle communication.
Excerpt:
“Vehicles “talk” to each other, exchanging information such as vehicle size, position, speed, heading, lateral/longitudinal acceleration, yaw rate, throttle position, brake status, steering angle, wiper status, and turn signal status, enabling safety and mobility applications.

”[The report] indicates that V2V’s two safety applications—Left Turn Assist and Intersection Movement Assist—could prevent up to 592,000 crashes a year and save as many as 1,083 lives.
(Source: NHTSA)

The rules are to be released in 2016 at the earliest.

jca's avatar

And I learned to drive in one of the hilliest cities in NY. I have fond memories of my mother yelling “Give it gas! Give it gas!”

SQUEEKY2's avatar

If automatics are so great,then why are manual transmissions still an option for the diesel pickups?
and the off shore models?

hearkat's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – For hauling loads and rough terrain, manual gives the driver the greatest control. However, few vehicles are used for those purposes these days.

As @LuckyGuy‘s comment mentions, the technologies are leading us to the self-driving vehicle. I recently read an article in Consumer Reports about the self-driving Audi that they took out for a road test with one of the Audi Engineers behind the wheel – they are confident that these machines with their sensors will be safer than the humans behind the wheel. The Audi even has a sensor to watch the eyes of the person in the driver’s seat to ensure that they’re still paying attention. I think these will especially have a market with Seniors whose reflexes are slowed, but who still want independence.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@hearkat I’m not arguing that automatics don’t have their place,just wish the manuals were still an option for those of us that have some driving skill left.

Now read some of the posts, these vehicles will have sensors that prevent crashes,save fuel, monitor the road, talk to each other,and all that isn’t making us lazy or stupid?
We are depending to much on technology, to do the driving for us,and losing our skill to depend on our own to drive.
why not just put a bed in the back, punch an address in and go to bed until you get there?

jca's avatar

@SQUEEKY2: Again, you are conveniently ignoring the reasons given by @LuckyGuy and @Buttonstc to assert your opinion of “lazy and stupid.”

Manual transmissions are still available in most models, so although they’re maybe phased out or the cars may only be available with special order, they are still available. Nobody is saying automatics are so great, but neither are manuals so great, either.

hearkat's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – By that logic, cars themselves have made us lazier. Let’s just ban them altogether and walk everywhere. Let’s also outlaw computers and telephones and go back to handwriting letters and bookkeeping by hand. And forget buying clothing in stores! Let’s raise the cotton and the sheep, loom and weave it, and then sew our own clothes.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@jca wrong ,in the north america pick up truck market manual transmissions are only an option on the full size diesel pick ups,and my bitch is they still should be an option for those of us with some driving skill left.

I know people with huge pain should only drive automatics, and no that doesn’t make them lazy or stupid.
But with all these technology wonders and taking the driver more and more out of it,and having him/ her rely on their driving skill less and less isn’t making the masses lazy or stupid, what is it doing for the average persons driving skill then??

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@hearkat it’s not the automobile it’s the people that are adding all these wonder gadgets that make the average person rely on their driving skill less and less is the problem.

For example a fellow up north had a vehicle that could park it’s self, well it hit the vehicle behind it, one of it’s sensors were either dirty or not working and the guy blamed the vehicle saying it wasn’t his fault,that isn’t making us lazy or stupid??

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Anything old or new that makes the average driver pay more attention to driving wether getting from AtoB or driving for a living, is a great thing.
Anything that can reduce the drivers attention while driving, old or new is a very bad thing.

hominid's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 – As I mentioned above, you prefer driving a manual transmission and you feel that it is a valuable skill to have. I happen to agree with you in that I prefer driving a stick. But moving from that to “making us lazy and stupid” seems to be a leap that you have not explained.

@hearkat is correct in pointing out that your logic can be applied to other areas of technology. To what degree does your distress about the loss of manual transmissions have to do with technology in general?

And I have seen many posts from you expressing your reasonable concern that drivers are simply too distracted to be driving, which is resulting in dangerous roads. However, if you are going to make a claim that driving a manual transmission is a variable in driving safety, you’ll likely be more persuasive if you were to provide some data.

jca's avatar

@SQUEEKY2: You have an opinion and you have a right to it. I understand it may be based on your upbringing and/or your profession. As someone stated, it’s not the first time when modern technology came about that people used to the old ways felt that the new way would produce a lazy and stupid populace.

Others have expressed opinions backed up by information to the contrary. You seem not to be too invested in hearing or learning about anything other than what backs up your opinion.

As someone who can drive both and who appreciates both (but especially appreciates the automatic now), I can assure you that in my case, I am not looking for my car to teach me things, I am looking for my car to get me from Point A to Point B.

jerv's avatar

It really is preference, though driving style and needs weigh into it. Sometimes I NEED to instantly disconnect the engine from the drive wheels to retain control; that’s only really possible if your car has 3 pedals. And engine braking is something else I do frequently that automatics and many manumatics aren’t great at.

Show me a slushbox in FIA or touring car racing and I might change my mind, but until then, the closest I’ll get willingly is paddle shifters.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@jerv The real high performance vehicles are all manuals, gee wonder why???
Automatics are starting to show up in the commercial transport trucks, and they say they shift real good,sure let’s see that on a 9% five mile grade hauling 63,500kgs, down or up it I want to choose the gear not have the truck do it for me.

jerv's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Some are going with DSG or other semi-automatic technology, though often based on clutches rather than torque converters. Ferrari, for instance, has paddle shifters that give rev-matched, on-demand shifts far faster than a human can shift (40ms, if I recall). And some manumatics are merely automatics that allow the driver to override the ECU’s shift algorithm. Funny how we’ve had electronically controlled automatics for decades, yet that override is a special feature that just started showing up, but I digress.

But many “drivers” would rather just get in their car, fire up YouTube, and forget they’re even on the road. Seattle “drivers” often do exactly that :/

Those who actually want control of their huge metal boxes traveling at high speed are a minority as many are simply transporting themselves instead of actually driving. It’s a bit different in places that don’t consider car ownership a Gawd-given right, and I stand by my original position of, “it depends where we’re talking about”.

jca's avatar

I think if auto makers were to poll consumers about their auto purchases (or auto desires), and I’m sure they do this poll on a regular basis, they’d find that the majority of people don’t buy cars for the thrill of the ride. Maybe 10% may be looking for a thrill. The majority are looking for what I said I want a car for – to get me from Point A to Point B. A big goal for most would be a car is low maintenance cost and good MPG.

With many people living where they have long commutes to work, the primary purpose of the car for the average American consumer is to get to work and back. Weekend driving is secondary, but for that, too, a small minority are looking for the thrill. Most are looking for moving family or stuff efficiently.

I appreciate when my car hugs curves and has good pickup and all that fun stuff, but that’s all icing on the cake. Goal 1: I have to get to work asap. Goal 2: I don’t want to fill the tank every other day, if I can avoid it. Goal 3: How incredible is it that my 2008 Civic that has 195,000+ miles on it (that shows you my commute) has not had any major maintenance issues yet? My next car will probably be the same as my present – a Honda Civic, auto, 4 cyl. Although my commute may or may not be the average, I am betting my auto purchase goals are very much in line with the majority of consumers.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@jca ^ Exactly.

Car companies are not charities. They make money selling things customers want. They would build them if enough people wanted to buy them.

rojo's avatar

Many years ago I had an acquaintance with an old 4wd truck that originally came with a three speed manual transmission with the shifter on the column. When he replaced the transmission it was with a 5 speed with the stick on the floor. He kept the column shifter and claimed that he needed it to use when he felt like shifting but didn’t have to.

One of my fondest memories is of riding with him through rough, rocky desert terrain down in Mexico; him driving with his arm hanging out the window, cigarette in hand, a spit cup in the other hand, beer between his legs and still managing to steer and shift as needed.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Up date, Chev will be offering a five speed manual for their Colorado pickup next year , and the ford ranger still offers a manual transmission, just wish Dodge did as well.

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