This paper proposes a road preview based shift schedule optimization for vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions. The road preview considered here is the electronic horizon from digital maps, which include many useful road attributes for the roads ahead including slope, curvature, and speed limit. The optimal shift gear ratios are obtained through applying a hybrid model predictive control approach to multiple powertrain models associated with multiple shift gears so as to improve the vehicle’s real world fuel economy and drivability. The real-world fuel economy optimized by the proposed predictive shift uses the optimal gear ratio in response to slope variations of the road ahead. The drivability improvement focuses on improving the driver’s curve negotiation performance by eliminating back-to-back shift caused shift business. The proposed predictive strategy has been verified in a simulation environment called the VMAPS, developed at Ford. The simulation results showed the effectiveness of the proposed predictive shift strategy in both real world fuel economy gain and the drivability.