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Thread: Terminology issue: Manual vs. "Automatic" these days

  1. #11
    Junior Potato
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    What if it's a semi-auto like Formula 1 cars had back in the early 90s - the first generation flappy-paddles. None of the assists of today, just a button connected to a few solenoids at the gearbox, and perhaps a millisecond-long engine cut-out. They used to change gears in the blink of an eye, which is an age compared to the full electronic gearboxes they have now. They're probably very close to what MotoGP used before they went with seamless shift gearboxes only a few years ago, although MotoGP still uses a linkage between the gear lever the the actual gearbox.

    The main philosophical difference, I guess, is whether the car has the ability to override your inputs (or lack of inputs) and do the gear changes by itself. Old F1 semi-autos had no override feature, but it wouldn't be too hard for someone to install, say, a Raspberry Pi in between the steering wheel buttons and the solenoids which did the actual shifting, and write some software which handles all of the gear changes. On the flipside, a conventional automatic gearbox with a small +/- lever tacked-on is definitely NOT doing any manual shifting, no matter how much it is trying to masquerade as one.

    Probably the closest you can get, as a member of the general public, in terms of a device which blurs the lines between manual and auto, is a motorcycle with a quickshifter. It's essentially a proper manual 'box with a sensor that cuts engine power if the gear lever is moved. You can hold the throttle wide open and not use a clutch, simply change up by flicking your foot upwards. I mean, you can buy them and install them on virtually any motorcycle for a few hundred bucks.

  2. #12
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by novicius View Post
    I prefer using the Common Man's definition: "D" for Drive = Automatic, period.
    Agreed.

  3. #13
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    My non lawyer friends said

    3 v 2 pedals
    Can stall v Can't stall

    Makes sense. I earlier thought there were cars with hand operated clutches but if there aren't then 3 v 2 works. Stalling v not stalling also works in any case.

  4. #14
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    To me a manual is one where the clutch and gearshift have to be done, ... manually.

    An automated manual would be those that can change gears by themselves but their construction closely resembles a manual. PDKs, DCTs etc

    An automatic is the CVTs and planetary geared transmissions etc

  5. #15
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    Speaking from an industry perspective it's if it changes gears automatically it's and Automatic (so this includes dual clutch) and if you have to waggle a stick about it's Manual. Whether or not a clutch exists is irrelevant and at least in the car world there's no such thing as an automated manual any more. This offends my mechanical perspective as I see dual clutch as distinct from torque converter automatics but I gave up on that argument about 8 years ago.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by IMOA View Post
    Speaking from an industry perspective it's if it changes gears automatically it's and Automatic (so this includes dual clutch) and if you have to waggle a stick about it's Manual. Whether or not a clutch exists is irrelevant and at least in the car world there's no such thing as an automated manual any more. This offends my mechanical perspective as I see dual clutch as distinct from torque converter automatics but I gave up on that argument about 8 years ago.
    PRND involves waggling a stick around.

  7. #17
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    I think Shakespeare said it best...

  8. #18
    Member Member 21Kid's Avatar
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    Automatic
    Semi-Automatic
    Manual

  9. #19
    'Trep dodint's Avatar
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    So, would my 6 be the first two? I have flappy paddles but no clutch pedal.

  10. #20
    Member Member 21Kid's Avatar
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    IMO, it depends on how it acts.

    My BMW was an auto, unless I wanted to use the paddles. So, I'd consider it an auto.
    If you have to use the paddles, I would think it's semi. Because you have do something to shift.

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