Life and Family

Doing Your Job

Do you think that automated transmissions will be a good thing for the future? What about computer problems?

Anything that makes the job easier and less stressful can't be a bad thing. I don't know about you, but I used to take a great deal of pride in my ability to shift gears properly. These new gearboxes will strip that away from the driver, but at the end of the day, I think I could get used to it.

As far as the computers are concerned, they're pretty darned reliable now-a-days. Of course the possibility of a problem exists, but that's what everybody said when the engines became computerized a decade ago.

I think the greatest potential for problems lies in the mechanics of the thing. If the shift motors aren't maintained, or the air lines become contaminated, they will cause problems. But that's still the case with a full-manual transmission anyway.

As far as I know, all the automated-manual transmission have a default setting to first gear if something screws up. That won't get you anywhere fast, but at least you won't become stranded in the middle of the road.

Personally, I think they're a pretty good idea. I'd still like to be able to control the thing myself, but I wouldn't mind the transmission doing all the work.

Jim Park