5 Forgotten Innovations and Technologies in Cars

Most cars are packed with all kinds of technology and innovative ideas nowadays. From automatic windscreen wipers to heated seats all of these things were developed in order to make driving a lot easier and luxurious. But what people don’t stop to think about is that some technologies that may have been considered breakthrough at their time are now forgotten and weren’t implemented for that long. This article contains 5 of these forgotten innovations and technologies that not many people will be able to remember – what a pity!

The Turntable Dashboard

A turntable is by no means a new technology. Most people use iPods or CD’s to listen to music whilst driving in this day and age. However not so long ago putting a turntable in a car's dashboard was an extremely innovative idea. It was seen as a great alternative to the radio, which was jammed with unwanted advertisements. But the designers didn’t realise the dangers that flipping a vinyl disk would cause for drivers and they didn’t clock on to the fact that every bump in the road would cause the vinyl to jump. Safe to say that this technology has now been forgotten in favour of newer technologies that don’t pose these problems.

Talking Cars

Having cars that talked to the driver was once seen to be a great idea. It was believed that in the future it would really take off. In the early 1980’s when talking cars were first invented the technology behind them hadn’t really come all that far... They used a mini turntable that only had a few pre-recorded messages on them. This technology may have really taken off if more phrases were programmed into it and it wasn’t so expensive to produce at the time.

A Periscope Instead Of The Rear Window

In 1933 the inventor Buckminster Fuller designed a concept car that had a periscope instead of a rear window. He believed that this would be more useful and would allow drivers to see what was behind them much more easily. However the prototype of this car was involved in a serious accident and the periscope idea has never been used in a car since.

Automatic Seat Belts

We live in a world where health and safety always comes first and this was the idea behind automatic seat belts. The first car that used an automatic seatbelt was the 1975 Volkswagen Rabbit. Automatic seat belts stayed around for quite some time, until 1995 to be exact, before airbags were required in new cars, putting an end to automatic seatbelts. Since then this technology has been forgotten, except by the people who remember how annoying they were!

The Wankel Engine

The Wankel isn’t exactly a forgotten car technology yet but we believe it will soon be so. The reason for this is because on the 22nd June 2012 the last Wankel engine was built by Mazda. The Wankel engine has been successful for some time but due to the amount of fuel they used and the emissions that were emitted from it car manufacturers decided to stop producing them. Maybe if the engine could be modified slightly to correct these problems they may re-emerge in the future.

Author Bio:
Jason Bradley is a fresh graduate and occasional blogger on topics related to the automotive industry. He is currently working for Partsgeek.com: the discount auto parts warehouse.

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