In the hundred-plus years of the automobile, certain technology has bubbled to the top and largely stayed there. Pistons still go up and down (or side to side) inside engines. Despite the occasional flirt with rotaries (tip sealing problems) and alternatives such as the Orbital. Petrol motors have spark plugs, diesels work on compression ignition. Friction clutches separate engine from gearbox so you can change a box of cogs essentially unchanged since the dawn of time. Automatics are still best, I think, as epicyclic gear trains with a torque converter. Freon became the air conditioning refrigerant of choice because you could chill a meat locker with such a system.