Let's have a tour around all types of gear shifting technologies in 2020


Posted by: 234DRIVE x NAIJAUTO.COM

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The evolution of automotive technologies has yielded the newly-born gear shifters throughout the years. Check out what you have been missing!


From the most common shifter to the one you might not have ever seen, check out!

It's 2020 and you know how fast technology is moving these days. Over the last 5 years in the car world, nobody could think that electric cars would be so commercial that even Nigerians would be able to acquire and utilize them. Now, we have over 3 Tesla vehicles surviving in Nigeria and TESLA keeps selling out on all their electric car models. 

I just suddenly remembered this week that automatic transmission cars have different forms of shift mechanisms that engage the gear. Automakers are looking for new ways to shift car's transmission and our feelings for cars are not being considered at all as they want to create more useful space around the interior of the car.

 I want you to know what to expect on newer cars and it's why I decided to do a quick rundown on all the forms of transmission shiting mechanisms you would find on cars in 2020.

1. Stalk/Column Shifter

This was is the oldest kind apart from the traditional shifters. It is the type of shift lever that extends out of the steering and it gets controlled just the way you control the wiper system of your car.

I remember my dad's 1998 Toyota Avalon had it but it was long and ugly. Recently, Mercedes-Benz revisited this technology and modernised it into a cuter mechanism and it can be found on the E-Class, GL-Class, GLE-Class and some others. I have had a bad experience with the column shifter on the E-Class though. It broke off from the steering column when the driver was trying to avoid a collision on the road.

I can't say for sure if the force he used on the lever was too much or the lever mechanism itself cannot withstand so much pressure. I do not like the column shifter because it feels out of place in cars. You can't even place your hands on the lever when you are cruising, that's against the cool car guy code. I gave it a nickname of "WIPER SHIFTER" and yes, I know the name is so uncool but who cares ? not me.  


The column shifter has a quite long history behind

2. Push-button Shifter

This is just the height of laziness automobile manufacturers want drivers to exhibit when driving. The gear is just a button like a radio dial button arrangement. The most regular car that carries this gear shifting mechanism is some trims of the 2019/2020 Honda Accord. You just start the car, press the brake and dial a gear and that simple.


Push Button sounds very handy as you don't have much force to apply when using this type of shifter

It's not entirely new though, early 60s Chryslers used to carry push-button gear shifters. A lot of 2018 American cars carry the push-button gear. My nickname for this gear is the "LAZY MAN SHIFTER".


The history of the push-button shifter dates back to the early 60s

>>> You might also like to read: Types of brake noises & problems they indicate

3. Monostable/Joystick Shifter

Different automobile manufacturers have their names for this shift lever where the gear knob remains at one position even after you have selected your desired gear.

You can't tell what gear you are in with this type of shift lever until you check the transmission indicator on the gauge screen of the car or on the gear selector itself but the flaw with judging with the indicator on the selector itself is that during the day, the light might not be visible enough for you to confirm what gear it is on.

One of the earliest cars to have this shifter is the BMW X6 SAC(Sports Activity Coupe). The one on the Range Rover Sports is called the SPORTS SHIFT selector and it operates just the same way. This lever feels like a manual when you change gears and I love the clicking sound of this as you shift because it makes the driver more hands-on with the car so I gave it the nickname "CLICKER SHIFTER". It's one of the best looking modern gear shifting mechanisms out there in 2020.


If you are a PlayStation lover, this kind of shifter is no longer a challenge to get used to

4. Rotary/Dial Shifter

I first came across this mechanism in a Range Rover Evoque. I honestly thought it was a volume button, I switched the car off and didn't notice the knob went down into the frame of the centre console.

I was looking for the gear selector, so I decided to start the car up and to my surprise, I saw the assumed volume button rise up from the centre console with P R N D S somewhere along the circumference of the knob as indicators. This can also be found in some Aston Martin cars surprisingly and the Dodge Durango.

The dial shifter is very practical like you know where you stand at all times because you would see a bright coloured indicator on the dial. I nicknamed it the "VOLUME SHIFTER" because that's exactly what it feels like.


Do you think the rotary shifter design was inspired by the volume design?

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5. Regular Stick Shifter

This is the conventional one and honestly, I am bored of seeing this all the time in cars. It sticks upwards and obstructs a lot of things in the car.


Obviously, the most accustomed by Nigerian drivers

I am expecting the VOICE COMMAND type of shifting mechanism haha, can't wait. I hope a Nigerian automaker would be the first to do that commercially.  

Which one of these gear shifting technologies in 2020 do you like the most? And which one will you not welcome at all into your garage? Let me know in my e-mail crankkickedin@gmail.com as I would reply asap.

>>> Stay tuned with Naijauto.com for the latest car news, tips & advice, prices, and reviews!




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Crank - the head of content for 234DRIVE is a mechanic/car enthusiast/car vlogger that writes and creates relatable motoring experiences. Whenever he lays his hands on any car, he reviews them in depth. He calls himself the 'Educative Car Guy'.

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