Standard will outpace stick
One interesting switch consumers will notice, if they haven't already, is that the days when manual transmission cars achieved better fuel economy than automatic transmissions are quickly coming to an end.
That has been the case of the history of the automobile," Edmunds.com's O'Dell said. "That is changing."
Computer-controlled electronic shifting has become so refined, and manufacturing processes so precise, that automatic transmissions will get significantly better fuel economy than standard transmissions.
"We're going to see a huge step up in the complexity of transmissions," O'Dell added, predicting that automatic transmissions will soon have as many as 15 gears to improve fuel economy.