In the last three decades, the automotive industry has seen a facelift. One of the major factors influencing it is the advancement in technology. Gone are the days when the power output, efficiency, and safety were the only factors while buying a suitable car. It can’t be denied that these are the fundamental factors in the selection of a car, but now there are many other factors worth considering as well. Integrating electronic technology within the automotive industry has seen a major change. A simple peek at the cars from the 1990s will highlight how far much we have achieved. While there have been several changes in the automotive industry, only some of them are significant to be considered as milestones. They are as listed below.
- High-Tech Headlamps
For many years, the headlamps were so stereotypical that they could be repaired or replaced in any auto store in the world. However, in the late 1900s, the design of the headlamps was subjected to some significant changes. Traditionally, halogen bulbs were used in the headlamps of cars. In 1992, they were replaced by High-Intensity Discharge headlamps in the sedans manufactured in Europe. From that point onwards, the headlamp technology has been continuously subjected to improvements. LEDs started to surface in the early 2000s. They were small, highly-efficient, and able to take up various shapes. Modern LED headlamps can switch on or switch off individual bulbs automatically depending on the requirement. As far as the future is concerned, German auto experts are trying to develop laser headlamps that are brighter yet consume less electricity than the LED headlamps.
- Electronically Controlled Torque Vectoring Differential
The technology was introduced by Mitsubishi in the year 1996 in their Evolution model. It was widely known as Active Yaw Control and consisted of a differential gear mechanism that could be electronically regulated. Since then it has been applied in most modern high-performance cars. If the car is having an all-wheel-drive mechanism, it can be put to use on the front and rear axles as well. The advantage of this technology was that the torque generated by the car’s engine could be diverted to any of the four wheels within an instant. Not only did it make driving easier but also provided traction in bad weather.
- The Smart Car Key
Back in the old days, keys were used for unlocking doors and starting the ignition system on the cars. But now they have been replaced with a push-button start system and smart keys that enable you to lock or unlock your car from a certain distance. This technology was developed in the year 1998. It has significantly improved the level of personalization and convenience. Mercedes-Benz first used the tech in their cars. A portion of the main adaptations was debit card measured bits of plastic. Those bits advanced into the fobs we use today.
- Dual Clutch Transmission
The dual-clutch transmission (DCT) system was capable of offering significant benefits over the traditional automatic transmission. Yet, it had no drawbacks at all. In a car with a six-speed gearbox, the DCT consisted of one clutch to shift the odd gears and the other one to shift the even ones. It enabled the driver to seamlessly change gears rapidly. Volkswagen was the one to introduce DCT. It has been used since then in all cars.
- Advanced Turbocharging
Turbochargers have been used in the automotive industry since the 1960s. They consist of compressors that operate on the car’s exhaust and push additional air into the engine cylinders. Both GM and Ford presented little turbocharged engines in the 2008-2009 period that flagged the tech had adequately developed to introduce in the organization’s most affordable vehicles. Presently automakers could utilize more modest, more productive super engines and hold (or even surpass) the force levels of bigger engines. Today, practically every maker has scaled back its engines to more modest turbocharged ones with a lift in execution and mileage.
- Rear View Backup Camera
Rearview backup cameras have been a lifesaving technology in the automotive industry. Before they were developed there used to be several accidents as people were unable to see behind their cars while backing up. In 2002, Infiniti dispatched a lifeline with the first-ever backup camera accessible in the new Q45. With a camera mounted underneath the top of the trunk and a monitor in the dashboard, these early frameworks saved lives and made parking far simpler. Later in the decade, Nissan presented its Around View Monitor, which utilized numerous cameras to create a 360-degree border image of the region around the vehicle. Probably the best frameworks, similar to the one in the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class, even give enough detail to detect a check on the vehicle when leaving.
- Bluetooth Integration
The significance of Bluetooth’s wireless innovation to the auto industry wasn’t totally clear when it dispatched towards the end of the 1990s. Be that as it may, by 2001 the organization had its first in-vehicle unit for chatting on your phone without using your hands. Today the innovation is in just about every vehicle and installed on just about each cell phone. It’s so ubiquitous we seldom consider the way that we didn’t have it earlier. Yet, to legitimately chat on your phone in the vehicle, a Bluetooth connection must be established between the phone and the vehicle.
Airbags were used in vehicles since the 1950s. Extravagant carmakers like Mercedes-Benz started to use present-day airbags during the 1980s, and Ford made airbags standard on the entirety of its vehicles in 1990. Airbags have saved tens of thousands of people in the world. Today, even a modest minimal sedan has driver and passenger airbags. Besides, there are side-sway airbags and side curtain airbags that trigger in case of a rollover.
These are some of the most important automotive technology milestones that have played a crucial role in enhancing the usability of vehicles and helped in saving lives.