We’re still years away from the flying cars that are depicted in futuristic movies, but there have been technological advances in the car industry that has made the driving experience better than ever. When Henry Ford created the Model T in 1908, the world of transportation changed, but they would never have guessed where technology would take the invention of the automobile. Cars were simply created to take a person from point A to point B, but now the average person can drive across the country with all sorts of gadgets and accessories at their fingertips that make driving seem much more luxurious and convenient.
The first major accessory advance in vehicles was the audio system. Cars went from radios that only transmitted stations to the ability to play cassette tapes and then CDs. Eventually, the stereo systems became more advanced as other technology in the world advanced in the realm of digital storage devices. Many audio systems now come with auxiliary jacks that allow the driver to plug in their MP3 player or cellphone, which is filled with thousands of songs on playlists that they’ve customized themselves. There are even audio systems that have USB and SD card ports that can read music files. The average cassette or CD only holds a couple hours of music, but now you’re able to listen to endless hours of music using these storage devices or streaming audio.
The entertainment system advances don’t stop with music, either. Many car manufacturers are implementing upgraded systems that allow more features. When the GPS system first became available to the public, you typically had to buy a separate accessory to mount on your dashboard, but now they’re often built directly into the entertainment system. These GPS systems not only help you navigate your route, they also provide safety features in case you have a mechanical breakdown, car wreck or other emergency. Some manufacturers are also including the ability for drivers to download different applications to the entertainment system for a more enjoyable experience.
The accessorizing of vehicles can make your experience more entertaining and customized, but the automotive industry is also constantly advancing the way vehicles drive. Hybrid vehicles came to the mainstream American car market in the late 20th century, but there were only a few manufacturers making them. As gas prices continued to raise, more manufacturers began producing affordable hybrid vehicles. These vehicles save the driver on fuel expenses because they run off both traditional fuel and a high-powered battery when at lower speeds. Now, some manufacturers are creating fully electric vehicles that don’t require fuel to run at all. These vehicles need to be charged at custom charging stations that aren’t readily available in all areas, but some cities are beginning to build more of them.
Technology is advancing on a regular basis, and every automaker is in a constant competition with one another, so it’s improving with every new model year that’s released. Some of these ambitious car manufacturers are even stating that we’ll have self-driving vehicles in a matter of years, so the future we’ve seen on TV and in films doesn’t seem too far away.