Automobile manufacturers are always attempting to out-do each other by introducing the most advanced technologies in today’s modern world. Typically, whoever launches the most cutting-edge technology first wins the market and the public’s support until something “newer” or “better” is introduced.
Occasionally, there is an auto feature that’s introduced which completely revolutionizes the entire industry, becoming a “must have” in all vehicles that are manufactured moving forward. We like to call those technological advancements “before its time” auto technologies.
Digital Instrument Clusters
According to Mashable, the first car to introduce a digital instrument cluster was the Aston Martin Lagonda. It first appeared on the market in 1976, receiving mixed emotions from the public. However, years later and once the technology was mastered, the screens became very popular in vehicles. Today, they’re practically in every car on the road.
While turbochargers can be found in almost every performance car today, this technology is not of the 21st century. According to Turbosmart, turbochargers were mass-produced for the first time in 1962, first seen in the Oldsmobile Jetfire and the Chevy Corvair Monza.
The 1948 Tucker Torpedo had more than just one innovation. It was not only one of the first cars to have seatbelts — it also had a perimeter frame, roll-bar crash protection and a hemispherical combustion engine. It was one of the safest cars of its time and those same features are still seen today in premium vehicles made by top manufacturers.
Volvo has a reputation for its safe and durable cars. In 1975, they created the Volvo 240 which had a number of modern safety features including crumple zones, rollover protection, a collapsing steering wheel, anti-lock brakes, auto-locking seat belts, airbags and pop-up headrests! There was also a backup-camera in it. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported this vehicle as one of the safest cars. While it’s no longer produced, it’s still used as a benchmark for vehicle safety standards.
According to BuyAutoInsurance.com, the French Peugeot 601 Eclipse offered the first retractable hardtop in 1934. The retraction system was not the most practical, and the hardtop did not fold completely; however, they were still considered one of the coolest cars on the road. Today, convertibles, hard and soft tops, are produced by many different manufacturers.
In 1990, Mazda introduced the first-ever GPS system for automotive navigational use, according to N Drive. For the first time, your position on the road could be triangulated in real time from satellites in space. Now, most drivers can’t fathom the thought of taking on the road without this piece of technology by their side.