Evolution of car technology

An underwater car.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

I’ve managed to avoid learning to drive for almost 20 years. That may be coming to an end before long, however, now that Kate and I are outnumbered by children. I’ve always had a fascination with technology though and, if I do find myself reluctantly behind the wheel, I’ll be nonetheless happy in the knowledge that there’s a lot of tech to satisfy my geeky tendencies, make the task easier and keep the kids quiet!

Whether you’re a driver or not, this infographic about the evolution of car technology from Halfords makes for some interesting reading. It’s easy to assume that in-car technology is a recent progression. It’s actually nothing new at all. I was surprised to learn that some features have been around for a lot longer than I thought.

For example, did you know that the first car radio came into being in the Chevrolet 490 in 1922? Or that heated seats have been in existence since they were added to the SAAB 99 in 1972?

There have been some amazing developments in recent years in particular. In the two decades that I’ve managed to stay well away from the driver’s seat, we’ve seen the introduction of automatic parking and DAB car stereos. Not to mention factory-fitted DVD players and the large-scale adoption of GPS technology – following its introduction in 1990.

There have been some weird and wonderful technological developments too. These include the first flying car that took to roads and the air in 1949. And the James Bond-inspired Rinspeed sQuba submersible car, which took the plunge in 2008. My favourite has to be the self-driving BMW 235i – perhaps I could have the best of both worlds and get one of those. I’d be able to get from A to B safely without having to sit a driving test. A true win-win situation!


  1. John Adams

    I remember the Renault with the talking dashboard! I seem to recall it was a digital dashboard which was way out there for that period in time. Interesting to see how car tech has developed over the years isn’t it?

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