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The history of the automatic gearbox

Microsoft IES Logo By Sean Carson for MSN Autos of Microsoft IES | Slide 1 of 17

What is an automatic gearbox?

What is an automatic gearbox? With brands such as Land Rover, Chrysler, and Mercedes-Benz revealing their nine-speed automatic gearbox and Porsche ditching the manual option completely on its amazing new 911 GT3, self-shifting technology is really going places. But how much do we really know about automatics and where could the technology go next? Everything you need to know is right here... But first, what is an automatic gearbox? It sounds like a simple question – and on a basic level it is. An automatic gearbox is a transmission that removes all or part of the manual operation needed to change gear.But there are many different types today – you’ve got fully automatic torque converters, wet clutch automatics, dual-clutch self-shifting units, Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT) autos and even pre-selector gearboxes. But how did the automatic transmission come about?    
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