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    Thread: Why do AT shifters still exist?

    1. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:26 PM #1
      Why haven't they been replaced with buttons or some other electronics? Seems like a rather simple thing to do to get a lot of prime real estate back.



      Sorta like this on the Prius

      http://kyoei-usa.com/blog/2011/06/ogs-prius-ips-switch/

      Change this:


      to this:
      I'm just a regular Joe, with a regular job. I'm your average white, suburbanite slob.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit5GTI
      You have cornered the entire 'I hate Ford Fusions' market around here

    2. 05-14-2012 01:28 PM #2
      because its still cheaper to shift using cables or rods, than electric motors and actuators.

    3. 05-14-2012 01:28 PM #3
      Because people driving automatics want to rest their hand on the gear selector like it is a manual shifter even though it isn't.

      I like to use the + and - thing on the shifters in rental cars like I'm a racecar driver.

    4. Member 2.0T_Convert's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:30 PM #4
      Some people still like to manually shift an auto using the shift level instead of paddle shifters.
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    5. Member R-Dubya's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:30 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Change this:


      to this:
      I fail to see how that gets any space back.

    6. Member Chris_V's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:32 PM #6
      Other methods have been tried...





      I love cars, but the problem is they are like schroedinger's hobby. They're always in a quantum superstate of being both awesome and a huge waste of time and money... until observation momentarily forces them into one state or another.

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      05-14-2012 01:35 PM #7
      Yeah that doesn't save any space and is expensive...
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      05-14-2012 01:36 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      Why haven't they been replaced with buttons or some other electronics? Seems like a rather simple thing to do to get a lot of prime real estate back.



      Sorta like this on the Prius

      http://kyoei-usa.com/blog/2011/06/ogs-prius-ips-switch/

      Change this:


      to this:
      No space has been saved. Nothing additional has been added because of the saved space you seem to think is there. Look, it's the same buttons in the same place.

      Buttons might be a space saver, but not in the example you used.

      The reason I see for keeping the shifter is tradition. It costs a little extra, makes it more difficult to slide across the center console, and obscures some buttons, but I don't see that as a big deal. If there's a manual stick shift option, then going to a different center console that takes advantage of saved space for the AT buttons might end up costing more.
      Quote Originally Posted by apizzaparty View Post
      never thought once to use my lefty for the brake. sorry in my opinion it is dumb.

    9. Senior Member VarianceVQ's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:37 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by 2.0T_Convert View Post
      Some people still like to manually shift an auto using the shift level instead of paddle shifters.
      What he said. Tried paddle shifters, it was kind of meh.
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    10. Member Cousin Eddie's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:40 PM #10
      You should bring this up to "The Head Foundation". It would help road going donations greatly.


    11. Member sforsancho's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:43 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris_V View Post
      Other methods have been tried...
      Add one more



      Quote Originally Posted by Rob Cote View Post
      You just saved 15% or more on Valentime's day by switching to friendzone.

    12. 05-14-2012 01:46 PM #12
      Meh, gives me something to do in my Aero. I use the paddle shifters sometimes too.


    13. Member bzcat's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:51 PM #13
      The biggest reason is that people still expect it to be there. I'm not so sure it will still be there in about 10 or 15 years but for now, most people who are of driving age, learned to drive with a conventional shifter.

    14. Geriatric Member AKADriver's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:52 PM #14
      The Lincoln makes me laugh, because they eliminate the shifter but then waste all that space they could have used for storage or... something, on that big overstyled flying buttress armrest thing.

      Eliminating the shifter makes the most sense for vehicles which have no sporting pretensions. My Odyssey has a shifter that's been minimized as much as possible while maintaining an old style shift linkage. If they could have replaced it with pushbuttons I wouldn't miss a thing. The shifter occupies a little corner of the dash next to the steering wheel rather than jutting out of the middle like a faux-manual; it opens up a lot of space for storage bins.
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    15. Member NOTORIOUS VR's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:54 PM #15
      The shifter in the E65 BMW's are nice... simple to use and out of the way:

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    16. Member 200HP4dr's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 01:59 PM #16
      Or put it back on the column. In my van, it has a giant lever mounted on the column. I think the gear shifter adds a certain level of machismo. The illusion of control, if you will.

      I personally would love to see automatic shifters go away.

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      05-14-2012 02:04 PM #17
      The current Mercedes E-class (and some M-B SUVs) have a Prius-like shifter located on the steering column. It does free up some space for larger center console storage.

      The key is we're seeing this on the ever increasing number of models with no manual available. With manual or auto cars, it makes sense to stick the auto lever where the stick shift would be.

    18. Member daveschi's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 02:10 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by bzcat View Post
      The biggest reason is that people still expect it to be there. I'm not so sure it will still be there in about 10 or 15 years but for now, most people who are of driving age, learned to drive with a conventional shifter.
      Like how I learned to drive on a car with an automatic transmission and a column mounted gear selector, then while driving my mom's car with a floor based gear selector, ripped off her wiper stalk?

    19. 05-14-2012 02:12 PM #19
      It's easier to grab on to a stick than to fiddle with buttons. Just like it's easier to push real buttons than touch screen buttons.

    20. 05-14-2012 02:14 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by 200HP4dr View Post
      Or put it back on the column. In my van, it has a giant lever mounted on the column. I think the gear shifter adds a certain level of machismo. The illusion of control, if you will.

      I personally would love to see automatic shifters go away.

      Chris
      Don't put it back on the column. It's ugly there.. U G L Y YOU AIN'T GOT NO ALIBI. YOU UGLY, YOU UGLY.. YOUUUUUUUU UGLY.

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      05-14-2012 02:15 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by sforsancho View Post
      Add one more

      Wow, that flying buttress dashboard kinda sucks. I didn't realize it was that obtrusive.

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      05-14-2012 02:17 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by Grey Mouser View Post
      Don't put it back on the column. It's ugly there.. U G L Y YOU AIN'T GOT NO ALIBI. YOU UGLY, YOU UGLY.. YOUUUUUUUU UGLY.
      But, but, but, if it's on the column it's easier to pretend you're in a 1970's car chase!

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      05-14-2012 02:29 PM #23
      I also think it's a waste of space. I think column shifters should make a wide-spread comeback

      Then you get paddle-shifters if you want to be cool.

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      05-14-2012 02:30 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by r_fostoria View Post
      Wow, that flying buttress dashboard kinda sucks. I didn't realize it was that obtrusive.
      I love it. Then again, I pretty much love flying buttresses so much, I even put them on my sand castles.

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      05-14-2012 02:55 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by PsyberVW View Post
      I love it. Then again, I pretty much love flying buttresses so much, I even put them on my sand castles.
      Hmm... maybe Lincoln should have gone with a full Gotic Revival style interior with cross hatched sculpted marble A-pillars, stained glass moonroof, and purple velvet uphostery.

    26. Member Run L1ke H3LL's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 03:01 PM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      I fail to see how that gets any space back.
      this^
      OTC

    27. Member jnm2.0t's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 03:03 PM #27
      Quote Originally Posted by R-Dubya View Post
      I fail to see how that gets any space back.
      That was just an example of what is an electronic shifter that can be turned into buttons, not that their location was a good one.

      In the Prius V it is on the dash

      I'm just a regular Joe, with a regular job. I'm your average white, suburbanite slob.

      Quote Originally Posted by Rabbit5GTI
      You have cornered the entire 'I hate Ford Fusions' market around here

    28. Member Run L1ke H3LL's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 03:11 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by jnm2.0t View Post
      That was just an example of what is an electronic shifter that can be turned into buttons, not that their location was a good one.

      In the Prius V it is on the dash

      [IMG]http://reviews.carreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/2012_toyota_prius_v_07.jpg[IMG]
      That's still not saving space, it's just relocating it.
      OTC

    29. Member cockerpunk's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 03:46 PM #29
      the primary reason is because when you design a car with an optional manual transmission, you have to build the dash and center counsel one way, and making two designs, one for each transmission is expensive and annoying.

      note all the "sexy" automatic selectors are in cars that don't even have the option of a manual ....
      Quote Originally Posted by kwik!gti
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      05-14-2012 04:12 PM #30
      I agree with OP . Going with buttons should give interior designers lots of options. Why even have the middle console ? What about different seat configurations ? Why is the dashboard so large anyway?

      Its time car interior design evolve












    31. Member Bakounine's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 04:33 PM #31
      Isn't the new Ram using a rotary dial on the dashboard? IDK how big it is though and why they are using it instead of the column shifter.

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      05-14-2012 04:45 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by r_fostoria View Post
      Hmm... maybe Lincoln should have gone with a full Gotic Revival style interior with cross hatched sculpted marble A-pillars, stained glass moonroof, and purple velvet uphostery.
      Now you're talkin!

    33. Member Smigelski's Avatar
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      05-14-2012 04:46 PM #33
      Here's a thread from a few months ago on this same topic.

      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...matic-cars-Why

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      05-14-2012 04:59 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by speedworks1 View Post
      I agree with OP . Going with buttons should give interior designers lots of options. Why even have the middle console ? What about different seat configurations ? Why is the dashboard so large anyway?
      While I agree that there's no need to keep it where it is if there's no manual available, the dash is large because it's structural, it has a lot of padding in it and there has to be room for wiring and HVAC. Show cars as pictured don't need working HVAC, as they can't be driven. As electrics come online, packaging of powertrains will likely free up some of that space for HVAC systems and wiring, giving designers a way to make cars look like that, though.
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      05-14-2012 05:07 PM #35
      the chrysler minivan location isn't really that bad...



      then there is some of the aston martins
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