It’s hard to believe the automobile has only been around for a little over 100 years. The first few models were a lot different than modern cars, though. Today, vehicles are full of electronics. And, they’ve got plenty of other innovations as well. Here are a few ways automobiles have changed since they were first invented.
Prototyping Has Made it Easier to Test New Ideas
Prototype tooling has transformed the auto industry. Testing out new ideas used to take forever. However, we can create the tools for new technologies pretty quickly today. Once we’ve come up with a new design, we can turn them into a reality fast. We can use injection molds to build the necessary parts within a single day. That’s made engineers a lot more creative as a result. They’re able to test something out without having to wait.
Steering Assist Has Made Driving Safer
Driving a modern car comes with a ton of safety features. Some of them have steering assist technology. Whenever you’re driving, sensors check out your surroundings. If you try to merge into an occupied lane, the car will pull away from the other vehicle. That’s made it a lot tougher to cause accidents while you’re on the highway. Back in the day, you had to pay close attention to your surroundings. Even then, you might not notice someone in your blind spot. Now, sensors can detect people even when you can’t see them well.
Backup Cameras Make Pulling Out of the Drive Easier
Backing out of the driveway is a lot easier whenever you’ve got a backup camera. These let you see directly behind you on a screen in your car. Usually, they’re mounted onto the dashboard. So, you don’t have to pull your neck while backing up.
Electric Engines Reduce Their Environmental Impact
The combustion engine is what made cars affordable for the masses. However, they’ve made a bad impact on the environment. Plus, they’re rather noisy, too. Nowadays, electric engines have become quite popular. These use pure electricity to generate power. And, they emit far fewer emissions compared to combustion motors. Electric motors tend to be a lot quieter as well. Sometimes, you can hardly hear them at all.
Starters Made Hand Cranking Obsolete
Originally, you had to crank the motor to get them to start. Starters made that obsolete. These let you simply turn the ignition key. Then, fuel injects into the pistons. And, the starter plugs go ahead and ignite it. That way, you don’t have to manually start the engine anymore. Cranking the motor was necessary to start the combustion cycle back in the day. You’d use a hand crank to turn the pistons a few times. Then, they’d start firing automatically. That’s no longer the case nowadays.
Anti-Lock Brakes Reduce Accidents
Slamming on the brakes used to cause them to lock up. They’d stick to the rotors and your wheels would lose traction. That would make it take longer for you to slow down, too. Losing traction from locked brakes caused a lot of accidents.
Now, cars use a computer system to prevent this from happening. They’ll release pressure before the wheels lose traction. They’re even able to help you stop on ice without losing traction now.
Automatic Transmissions Made Driving Simpler
All the first cars had manual transmissions. You’d have to apply the clutch in between gears. Then, you’d shift the gears by hand. There are still plenty of cars with manual transmissions. But, most of them use an automatic one now. These handle the clutch and gear shifts by themselves. You’ve just got to apply the gas. And, the automatic transmission handles all the rest for you. It doesn’t take nearly as long for people to learn how to drive as a result.
How Automobiles Have Improved Thanks to Engineering
Engineering has made a big difference in the automobile industry. We’re able to start cars without using a hand crank anymore. And, we don’t even have to learn how to use a clutch, either. Modern cars also have sensors to eliminate blind spots. They’ll notify you whenever someone is in them, too.