A manual transmission (also known as a manual gearbox; abbreviated as MT, and sometimes called a standard transmission) is a multi-speed vehicle transmission where gear changes require the driver to manually select the gears by operating a gear stick and clutch (which is usually a foot pedal for cars, or a hand lever for motorcycles).
Early automobiles used sliding mesh manual transmissions with up to three forward gear ratios. Since the 1950s, constant-mesh manual transmissions have become increasingly commonplace and the number of forward ratios has increased to 5-speed and 6-speed manual transmissions for current vehicles.
The alternative to a manual transmission is the automatic transmissions; common types of automatic transmissions are the hydraulic automatic transmission (AT), automated manual transmission (AMT), dual-clutch transmission (DCT), and the continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Alternately, there are semi-automatic (sometimes referred to as clutchless manual) transmissions, which are mechanically similar to a conventional manual transmission, and the driver's control is still required to manually change gears, but the clutch system is completely automated, and the mechanical linkage for the clutch pedal is completely replaced by an actuator or servo and sensors which operate the clutch automatically, eliminating the need for a physical clutch pedal.