The History Of Car Innovations

Cars today are a marvel of the latest technology for your driving pleasure. Making things simple, smooth and automated whilst reducing danger.

The Combustion Engine

Image via E&T Magazine

Let’s start at the begging. Engines are what make cars what they are. Granted today we have electric engines in many different cars but before that the combustion engine took us from horses to cars. Well there was also the steam engine before combustion but it was outclassed in every single way possible by the combustion engines. Originally designed in 1876 and worked and improved upon constantly. By 1885 the engines were optimized well enough to really begin to take in popularity.

Turbo

Image via CarThrottle

When you’ve got something that isn’t broken, you don’t fix it but you sure make it go faster. Improving over the traditional design, coming from the 60s and getting popular in the 70s. Turbo gave more speed, torque all whilst using less fuel! This innovation was so exceptional that it made it’s way into Formula 1. We’re assuming you’re familiar with the sport, but all you need to know if that F1 pushes car engineering to the limit to ensure the peak performance from its cars. For them to adopt the technology means it’s a revolutionary innovation.

Fuel Injectors

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Before fuel injection there were carburettors . Greedy and inefficient set ups that frequently required fiddling with. Granted the previous system was more friendly to quick and easy repairs but fuel injectors can be replaced. Fuel injectors removed the need for carburettors and directly injects exactly how much fuel is needed into each cylinder in bursts.

Regenerative Brakes

Image via Fleet Equipment Magazine

Regenerative brakes are actually older than you might assume. They’re from the late 60s and the technology is really smart. The technology works by converting kinetic energy into electricity which is relayed back to the vehicles battery. This innovation was genius when it came out but now that we’re in the EV craze it’s more common and useful than ever before. This technology has been a great help in making the EV movement more viable.

ESP – Electronic Stability Control

image via autoevolution

ESP comes thanks to Mercedes Benz after testing a new car in the snow and ending up off the road. It took two years of research and has been a staple of any Mercedes since 1995 and many other vehicles. The technology can detect if a car is skidding due to under or over steer and automatically engage brakes on each tyre separately to automatically stabilize the car. It is estimated that this technology saves at least 500 lives per year and an addition 2,500 serious injuries are prevented thanks to it. Data from 2010 – 2014 suggest that it saved over 4,000 lives in just four years. Now that is a solid innovation.

Power Steering

Image via Brake & Front End

Power steering makes moving a big multiple tonne vehicle a breeze. This is one of those innovations that you don’t know you’re dependant on until you don’t have it. Driving a car without power steering adds a serious workout to moving your vehicle especially at slower speeds. As it turns out when doing tasks like parking or leaving a parking spot is when you need to turn your steering wheel the most frequently and further. It comes from the 1930s but it didn’t come to the public for a little while. During the second world war many large and heavy vehicles were fitted with this technology & after the fact the realization came to pass that almost everybody would benefit from having this technology in their vehicles.

 

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