Auto Tech

Why some electronic shifters are terrible

As traditional, mechanical gearshifts slowly disappear, by-wire electric shifters are taking their place. That isn't always a good thing.

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Electronic gear selectors are getting more and more popular, rapidly replacing traditional mechanical shifters. Naturally, some auto-makers' implementations of tech is this easy to use and well thought out, but other manufacturers have completely missed the mark.

It seems like every new or redesigned vehicle these days features an electronic gear selector, where there's no mechanical linkage between the shifter and transmission. There are countless benefits to going this route, from increasing interior storage space to lighter weight to enabling some seriously innovative new features -- particularly certain advanced driver-assist systems.

For the most part, shift-by-wire is a great idea, even if sometimes automakers' implementations can take time to get used to (or worse, remain super annoying). I'd argue that certain automakers haven't instituted this technology properly, however, and that this can cause more problems than it solves. Check out the accompanying video where I sound off on electronic shifters. Do you agree with my take on this topic, or am I just full of hot air?