Automotive innovations that changed the world

Since the first automobile was invented there have been a number of automotive innovations that have changed the world. When we look back at some of these we have to wonder what would we do without them, and what would have taken their place if some clever inventor did not come up with their design? Some that we will list are very obvious, but there are some that you would not even have thought was a major invention, not until we remind you.

The first automobiles came from Europe, but it was not until the US took an interest that these strange devices started to get the attention that they deserved. It was Ford that changed the world with their Model T range, and the other big two Detroit auto companies were not far behind coming up with their own take on the automobile, but Model T would take some beating.

The Motorcycle was a great alternative to the car, as it was not only cheaper and easier to produce, but was also more practical, as they were able to handle the rough terrain much easier — only because there were more wide-open spaces back then. You have to wonder why this mode of transport was not invented earlier, as the first motorcycle was just a bicycle with just a steam boiler on it?

Now that you have a car that travels faster than a horse and carriage you will need something to keep that windshield clear when it rains, so thank god that the windshield wiper was invented. Before then drivers were forced to lean out and clear the screen with their arms, this simple yet ingenuous invention was even before the Model T Ford, so at least the windshield wiper was all ready for the first mass production car.

When going back to those earlier cars trying to get one going was a chore, so imagine the excitement when the electric self-starter came to life? No longer did a driver have to crank the engine with a handle; it was invented in 1912, but took a further 8 years to make hand cranking obsolete.

The final automotive innovation that we cannot do without has to be the rearview mirror. This was not as important back in the early part of the 1900s, but as more cars were appearing on the roads there was more of a need to be more aware of who was driving behind you. Today more cars have cameras to help them park, and in time they may even replace the simple rearview mirror.

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Written by Peter Chubb

Peter has been writing on Product-Reviews since 2007 and in that time much has changed for him, like his hair having more grey than brown now. He loves gadgets and cars, and gets excited when big events come up, such as CES and the big auto shows.

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He started out working in a factory and dreamed of the day when he could become his own boss; That happened back in 2002 and he has never looked back since. Things have changed so much on the Internet in that time, but he has adapted well.

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