There has been a recent trend towards automatic transmissions. More and more people are opting for automatic transmissions these days. Especially in heavy city traffic, the effort and frustration saved using them is well worth the higher initial investment. The benefit isn't limited to the reduced amount of work required for the driver. Compared to manual transmissions, many modern auto gearboxes provide quicker shifts and improved fuel economy.
While there are just a few types of automatic transmissions available (such as torque converters, dual-clutch transmissions and continuously variable transmissions), the gear-shifters that enable the driver to engage the ratios vary. Most automobiles come with the usual stick shift with gears in the R, P, N, D sequence, but there are several cars that have shifters that are not normal. Let's take a look at some of the more out-there examples of automotive gear shifters.
Monostable shifters are common in high-end vehicles like BMWs and a few Jaguars and Volvos, and are perhaps the most widely used form of shifter after the stick. The shifter functions like a joystick, moving forward and back to select gears, and then returning to its single resting position when released. The majority of monostable shifters are simple to operate and feel high-end in the hand. There is a button on or near the selector that activates "P" or parking mode.
They can be seen in luxury vehicles from Mercedes and Rolls Royce. These can be found on the side of the wheel to the driver's right. These pickers operate similarly to shifters that have only one fixed position. To use "R," press the stalk up; to use "D," press it down. For parking, choose "P" by pressing the button at the end of the stalk. Mercedes has merged the wiper functions into the light stalk to the left of the steering wheel, making it less likely that the wiper stalk would be used accidentally.
These shift knobs can be found on a wide variety of Jaguar and Land Rover cars. When the car is started, they come up out of the middle console. These shifters are easy to use, apart from the visual drama they provide. They lack any sort of soft touch material, making them seem and feel cheap.
The button shifter is a less common form of gear selector. Each gear can be engaged by pressing one of its corresponding buttons. The fascia or console in the middle of the car is where you'll find these controls. They are rarely seen on automobiles. The likes of Aston Martin and McLaren, two manufacturers of high-end sports vehicles, offer transmissions with push-button shifters.
Touchscreen selectors, which will debut in the upgraded Tesla Model S and Model X, are the newest addition to the growing list of unorthodox gear sectors. If gears are to be shifted, it will have to be done using a controller located on the touchscreen of the cars. The touchscreen will feature a sliding selector which is a small icon of the car) located in the upper left corner of the touchscreen to select D or R, while N mode can be selected on the screen through the shortcut menu.
Words: Sresht Garg