In a day and age when vehicles are parking themselves and cell phones and cars are essentially able to communicate with each other via Bluetooth, it’s easy to forget that the automobile industry was not always this way. Join us as we take a trip down memory lane and remember some of the great auto achievements over the years.
1864 – FIRST GASOLINE POWERED COMBUSTION ENGINE
The beginning is never a bad place to start. Siegfried Marcus first created the engine, which he placed on a pushcart, setting the standard for all cars to come.
1908 – AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSIONS BECOME STANDARD
Just ahead of mastering the gasoline-powered engine and mass producing vehicles, the next significant development came at the hands and head of Henry Ford’s famous Model T. Unlike most vehicles of that era, the Model T featured a simple, two speed auto transmission thought to be easier to control than manual transmissions at the time. It even included a reverse option, which until then had not been mastered. It’s no mystery that Ford’s efforts cleared the road ahead for a century of auto advancements.
1951 – POWER STEERING GIVES POWER BACK TO DRIVERS
Power Steering gives drivers the power to maneuver the car by augmenting steering efforts and adding controlled energy to the steering column, which requires less effort to turn.
1958 – SEAT BELTS CLIP INTO PLACE
There were many versions of the seat belt, or safety belt, dating all the way back to the mid-19th century, but it wasn’t until SAAB first introduced them as a standard feature in 1958 that they became commonplace
1967 – AIRBAG DEVELOPMENT EXPLODES
Like most of the auto innovations we’ve discussed, the initial concept for airbags originated in 1941, but it took more than 25 years to figure out its best use. In 1967, Allen Breed invented the airbag crash sensors which detected when an accident had taken place and deployed an airbag in under 30 milliseconds.
2008 – ELECTRIC CARS START TO SURGE
For the most part, the engines (and the emissions included) have remained relatively unchanged. That is, until the early 1990s when the California Air Resources Board began pushing for more fuel-efficient vehicles in an effort to lower emissions and better then environment.
The history of the automobile started a little more than a century ago and already we’ve seen countless innovations. And we’re sure to see countless more because the fact is it’s constantly evolving. We can’t say where the road ahead will take us, but we’re just happy to be along for the ride.