What’s the Buzz: Why we mustn’t let the manual transmission die


At an age where we are constantly distracted by technology and information that we don’t really need, it was a serene experience to get behind the wheel of car with three pedals and a gear lever. I know, a manual transmission requires a bit more work from the other half of your body, but it also focuses the mind to the task of driving.

When one is required to balance the clutch, find the correct gear while managing the speed all at the same time, there isn’t any opportunity to fiddle with the chief distractor of humankind a.k.a. the smartphone, which by the way is against the law when you’re in control of a vehicle. When humans concentrate on doing one thing well, we tend to do it better and more importantly derive a lot more satisfaction when it’s done properly.

This message isn’t to chide or rebuke those who don’t own/drive a manual transmission, it’s not the fault of the car companies either that the sales of manuals have dwindled down to negligible percentages. While technology has made life easy on many levels, it has eroded interaction and engagement, whether it’s with fellow human beings or with machines such as a car. With autonomous technology, we may even lose our ability to command a vehicle. Scary thought, so best enjoy working the pedals and rowing your own gears while you’re still able to.


Denis Wong

Denis Wong

In the age of misinformation and spin, Denis prefers candour and a counterpoint, because the truth matters.
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