In my recent article about the different types of automatic transmission that are used in today’s cars, I failed to mention one thing – getting used to actually driving them.
In most cases, this isn’t an issue – torque converter and CVT autos are simplicity themselves to operate and provide smooth acceleration in almost all circumstances.
Automated clutch transmissions – or automated manual transmissions, as they are also known – are slightly different. Getting smooth acceleration is entirely possible but you do have to develop the right technique.
Well-known car expert Honest John mentioned this in his Telegraph column last Thursday. I believe the correct technique is to only use a moderate amount of accelerator until the car has engaged gear and moved off. It may also be necessary to modulate the pressure on the accelerator to coincide with gear changes. It’s basically a little more like driving a manual but without operating the clutch yourself.
The traditional automatic driving technique of ‘just flooring it’ results in jerked gear changes, as Honest John’s correspondent notes.