The first electric headlights were introduced in 1898, and had several disadvantages (ex: filaments burning out quickly in the rain or snow). In 1912, Cadillac rolled out the new modern headlamp system that was designed to be totally weatherproof!
GM’s Buick were the first to introduce the first electric turn signals in 1938.
The first car windscreens were sold as an expensive add-on option for drivers who wanted something beyond goggles. Yes, seriously. In 1927, there was a breakthrough of laminated glass, that had a film between the two sheets of windscreen glass that protected it from shattering. Before this point, windscreens were just plain glass that literally shattered in an accident. I’ll take the goggles, thanks.
Mary Anderson was the super fearless female who invented the automatic windshield wipers in 1903!
Or the hood of the car, can absorb the sound produced in the engine.
In the first cars, drivers had to steer with a lever called a Tiller – can you even imagine that with how many cars and how much traffic exists nowadays? It wasn’t until 1894 that Alfred Vacheron fitted a steering wheel to his Panhard 4 hp model in the Paris-Rouen race!
In 1968, the first electromechanical airbag system for cars was invented. The passenger airbag is most often 2x the size of the driver’s side airbag because of the distance from the dashboard to the passenger. The speed at which an airbag deploys can reach up to 320km/h, and will open (on average) 40 milliseconds after impact.
The first car radio wasn’t invented until 1929, so conversation and humming was pretty popular up until then.
The first simplistic odometer was invented, actually, by Benjamin Franklin in 1763, when he was acting as Postmaster General as a method of measuring the best routes for delivering post!
The car company Daimler was the first to introduce the electric car windows in 1948, up until then it was the jolty, uncomfortable crank handles ONLY. Yikes!
In the 1960s, the curved side windows started to appear on automobiles.
Mandatory seat belts were introduced in Victoria, Australia in 1970. Seat belts were compulsory throughout Australia by January 1, 1972. Wearing a properly adjusted seat belt has been found to reduce the risk of fatal or serious injury up to 50%.
The first car company to have a sunroof as a standard option was the Nash Motor company in some of their 1937 models.
The first car with air conditioning was a Packard model that was produced in 1939.
Thomas Ahearn, a Canadian, invented the first electric car heater in 1890. Thanks Tom!
Car license plates were first introduced and issued in 1893 in France, by the police.
John Voevodsky, a psychologist, was the guy who invented the third brake light in 1974. It’s mounted at the base of the rear window.
The first pneumatic tire was created by John Boyd Dunlop, a veterinarian from Scotland of all things, in 1887, and he created it for his bicycles. In 1839, Charles Goodyear (ring a bell?) discovered the process called vulcanisation during a horribly wrong demonstration. That process, however, wound up super useful for creating tires, and is still used today! Considered one of history’s greatest accidents. The first inflatable tire was made from leather. It wasn’t until later rubber tires were created.
ABS, or anti-lock brakes, were originally created for airplanes in 1929. They weren’t incorporated into automobiles until they were tested in 1958 on the Royal Enfield Super Meteor motorcycle. In the ‘60s, an experimental Ford Zodiac was built with ABS!
The first form of car brakes were made from wooden blocks (Uh….)! A lever moved the block of wood to press on the wheel and help it to stop.