The worldwide increasing acceptance and success of modern automatic transmissions in passenger cars is based on innovative technology, driving comfort, shifting dynamic and - most important - fuel consumption reduction.New concepts are facing the challenge of further improvements in internal efficiency and very tough future goals on CO2 emissions in connection with more sophisticated gasoline and diesel engine technologies. Based on the competition and current diversity in automatic transmission concepts, high investments in production facilities must be taken also well into account when thinking about follow-up technologies of installed 8-speed and 9-speed technologies. This must also be considered for the different demands in regions and markets.So, how may a successful automatic transmission system look like in 2020 and beyond? Do we have even more gears than the current 8-speed and 9-speed? Does it make sense to increase the total gear ratio any further? Are there measures to improve the overall mechanical efficiency by several percent? What is the prevailing transmission system: torque converter planetary, dual-clutch countershaft or belt-type stepless transmission? How does the electrification and hybridization of the powertrain in the next years effect the system?This article will give some brief answers on how ZF is planning the future of automatic transmissions and how successful systems should look like.