Cars today can see just about anything. They have systems that spot lanes, parked cars, and even animals. But even the best of them can’t do what the new Rolls-Royce Wraith can: The luxury coupe’s transmission predicts and responds to the road ahead.
Engineers linked the eight-speed automatic to the car’s onboard navigation. A processor translates turns and on- and off- ramps on any route into shift commands. Because of that, the Wraith squeezes optimal power from its turbo V12 and provides a smoother ride than its predecessor. The system will also improve; engineers are working to include topographical data in calculations, so climbing hills will be as seamless as taking curves.
0–60: 4.4 seconds
This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of Popular Science.