Engine management systems that use stepper motors to shift gears is the biggest reason ats have improved so much with fuel economy. The computer also looks at accelerator pedal position using a reostat and accelerates the car accordingly. One stepper motor controls two gears on my old buicks.I think the "facts" were that MT could get better MPG than AT if driven by a highly trained and motivated driver. In normal everyday driving by normal everyday drivers AT would get better MPG. This has also improved as AT have moved from only having 3 forward gears to having 5 6 or even more (admittedly only in more top-end cars). Plus better mfr allows the weight of the transmission to be brought down.