The Biggest Innovations in Automotive History

The Biggest Innovations in Automotive History

The history of car manufacturing is relatively short compared to other common technologies, but over the past century, various developments have transformed the industry.

Many essential breakthroughs from the past have carried through even into today’s vehicles. Read on to learn about some of the biggest innovations in automotive history.

Electric Starter

When they were first available, cars used a hand-crank starter that people had to wind up to power the engine. While people experimented with various methods to make this process easier, they were generally overcomplicated and unwieldy. That is until the electric starter entered the picture.

Although electric starters had been around for about 10 years, they didn’t appear in car manufacturing until 1912, when Cadillac replaced their hand-crank motor. Electric starters became standard in vehicles over the next decade, except in Ford’s Model T.

Assembly Line

During the same period, automakers attempted to reduce the overhead of vehicle manufacturing. Henry Ford developed the assembly line to help streamline the process. Little did he know that his approach would transform manufacturing altogether.

Mass-producing vehicles on the assembly line reduces the cost of labor and individual parts. Today, this streamlined process allows manufacturers to focus on innovating their existing designs. Learning about some of the concept cars that never made it to the public will give you an idea of what wild designs come out of the drawing room. However, without the quick pace of assembly lines, the industry would not be able to afford to explore such creative concepts.

Automatic Transmission

Older vehicles featured manual transmissions, including a clutch for changing gears. Unfortunately, manual transmissions are harder to learn how to use and can be a hassle in heavy traffic. This problem prevented some individuals from driving until the automatic transmission appeared in 1939.

Automatic transmissions use a converter to adjust the gears in the vehicle based on speed, load, and other factors. This design eliminates the clutch, making the vehicle easier to drive. It’s easy to get fast, smooth transitions with a modern automatic transmission vehicle, causing the popularity of cars to explode.

Modern Vehicles are More Convenient Than Ever

Car manufacturing has been around for a while now. During that time, companies have developed new and innovative ways to build vehicles.

The biggest innovations in automotive history dramatically changed how car ownership works. With new technology and better manufacturing processes, vehicles are cheaper and more convenient than ever.