Jul 30 2019
The Oldest Technologies in your Novated Lease
1952: High Beam Assist
The Autronic eye, its original name, was an invention of the General Motors Guide Lamp Division. Oncoming light was detected through a light-sensing cylinder, this signal would be processed by an amplifier to trigger a low beam.
1948: Cruise Control
Modern cruise control was an invention of Ralph Teetor. It involved a complicated mechanical drive from the gearbox to regulate the throttle. Today’s cruise control is a little less complicated with computerised systems to maintain a cruising speed.
1932: Automatic Transmission
The automatic transmission originated from two Brazilian engineers, Jose Braz Araripe and Fernando Lehly Lemos. Their prototype was sold to General Motors and in 1939, where the three-speed hydra-matic transmission was perfected. This patent was then sold to other car manufacturers including Bentley, Hudson, Kaiser and Rolls Royce.
1929: Petrol-Electric Hybrid
General Electric (GE) developed the idea of the petrol-electric hybrid engine. This saw a vehicle with a generator that powered an electric motor driving the rear axle. Their advertised benefits at the time were of course, fuel economy, as well as it not needing a conventional clutch and gearbox.
Though they weren’t commonly installed in production cars until 1938, the flashing light used to indicate our direction dates to as early as 1907. The indicator replaced hand signals, which was very beneficial due to hand signals lack of use during night and wet weather!
The turbocharger was first patented in 1905 by Swiss engineer Alfred Buchi. However, it took 20 years for it to be a viable means of increasing engine power. It was first commonly installed in a petrol passenger car in the Jetfire model of the 1962 Oldsmobile Cutlass V8.
1903: Windscreen Wipers
The blueprint for the first automatic electric wiper is credited to Mary Anderson. Though it wasn’t until 1917 they were fitted to production vehicles.
1900: Drum Brakes
First used by Maybach in 1900, the drum brake uses a set of shoes or pads to create friction for a vehicle to come to a stop. Recently, the disc brake has become popular in modern vehicles, however the drum brake is still commonly found in commercial vehicles such as the dual-cab ute.
1880: Cigarette Lighter
The cigarette lighter was designed by German inventor Friedrich Wilhelm Schindler, a few years before the car was invented. The 12-volt outlet is standard to many vehicles and still present today, however the cigarette lighting component has been removed.
1877: Auxiliary Audio Plug
At over 140 years old, the auxiliary audio plug is the oldest technology found in a vehicle. Credited to electrical engineer George W Coy, originally it was a device for use in telephone exchanges however today it is mainly used to charge or connect a mobile phone to a cars audio system. The audio jack wasn’t included in cars until the 1990s.