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The modern three-pin seatbelt was invented by Nils Bohlin, Volvo’s first safety engineer. Volvo decided to give away the patent to other carmakers for free, knowing it would save lives.
It was compulsory for carmakers to fit seatbelts in the UK from 1965, but only compulsory to wear them in the front seats from 1983. Wearing a seatbelt became compulsory for all children from 1989 and for back seat passengers from 1991.
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Explore the history of car technology and how it has transformed the way we drive.
ABS or Anti-Lock Braking System, is a clever technology that stops the wheels locking up during sharp braking, preventing skidding.
Many carmakers began looking at ways to make driving more comfortable, and they landed on coil spring suspension. Each wheel (initially just the front two) was given its own metal coil spring, which compresses itself to absorb the shock you feel when driving over bumps in the road. This made for ...
This new technology can turn your car into a travelling 4G router, meaning passengers can use it to connect smart devices to the Internet.
Adding a hybrid motor to a petrol engine was first dreamed up in the 19th century, but the idea was deemed unworkable.
The smooth buzz of rolling down an electric window was originally only available on luxury models,and it was usually an optional extra on most cars until quite recently. But eventually winding down your car windows became a thing of the past.
Previous iterations of airbags were installed in US government cars from the 1970s, but in 1988 Chrysler introduced the first production airbag.
Ford’s Model T was the world’s first car produced by assembly line. This great leap in technology made the car much cheaper and therefore more widely affordable.
The first hands-free bluetooth kit appeared in 2001. Later that year, an even better bluetooth technology came out that worked with speech recognition. These days bluetooth is integrated with the cars’ infotainment system.
Cruise control is a system developed to allow the driver to maintain a constant speed without the use of the accelerator.
In the 1970s, carmakers began adding stereos that could play the latest cassette tape technology. Now drivers could blast out their favourite Led Zeppelin albums from their cars!
Looking for a better way to get the car running, Chrysler invented a technology to start both the electric starter and the ignition.
Electric ignition starters were invented to replace manual hand cranks and to start the engine with a button instead. Hand cranks were considered to be dangerous because the engine could jump as the car started, occasionally injuring the driver.
There were versions of GPS sat nav systems built in from the early 90s, but the US military added interference to the signals as they guarded the technology closely. In 2000, US President Bill Clinton ordered the military to stop scrambling GPS signals and open the technology up to everyone. Sat ...
Ford first created computer diagnostics for its factory line in the 1980s. But over time the built-in 16-pin connector became essential for all carmakers because it also gave garage mechanics access to key information about the car for repairs. On-board diagnostics connections became compulsory i...
Power steering technology uses hydraulic power to amplify the pressure on the wheels as you as you turn the steering wheel, saving you so much elbow grease. Power steering first appeared on a Chrysler Imperial and then in a Cadillac a year later.
Dozens of automatic technology features have been developed to assist the driver. Common examples include, lane departure warnings, blind spot warnings, cross traffic alerts and headlamp high beam control.
Wireless cigarette lighters had a removable component that was heated by electricity. By 1925 they were standard in most American cars.
Austrian Karl Benz invented the first true automobile in the 19th century.
Electromagnetic parking sensors alert you to hazards when parking.
This technology was designed to clean up polluting exhaust fumes by reducing toxic emissions created by the engine. Catalytic converters became compulsory in petrol cars from 1993.
Until this point, windscreen wipers had only had one speed, no matter the weather. Ford changed this to adjust the speed.
General Motors launched connected cars with its OnStar system, which used your mobile phone to call 911 in an accident.
Toyota was first to launch this tech with its Intelligent Parking Assist that helped drivers parallel park.
Technology called CDX-1 became the first car CD player, eventually supplanting cassette tapes, which had become old technology.
This technology has prevented many a reversing mishap. Little cameras stream live footage of the area behind the car as you reverse. The technology was first used outside of America in a Nissan Primera.
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You would be able to notice a difference between an expert driver and a beginner. The differences are quite small but noticeable. Because of his experience, an expert driver treats and drives the car differently. Beginners might not understand the reasoning behind what the expert driver is doing at first but as they gain some experience in driving, they will be able to understand them. Here, are some driving habits that differentiate expert drivers from beginners.
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