Packard introduced it with their 1956 Caribbean. It was the electrical one, and it had problems. If you parked on a steep hill, the shifting motor would lock up trying to get the car out of Park. It would trip a breaker, and you would be stuck. To make matters worse, when Packard’s production ceased that year, the manufacturers of the shifting mechanism destroyed the tooling. Replacement parts became impossible to obtain.
The king of the boneheaded electrical shifters was the Edsel. Not only did the shifter have lots of problems, they mounted the buttons in the middle of the steering wheel Guess what would would happen when drivers made an emergency move for the horn.