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How Car Design Has Changed Since the Turn of The Century

  • by: Conor McKeon
  • On: 7, Nov 2018
3 min read

Technology has changed almost every area of our lives in the past 100 years. Wireless connectivity, the internet, smartphones, apps: everything has been made more efficient. This has of course extended to our cars, making journeys faster, safer, and more streamlined.

This kind of progress is only possible through new technology being rigorously tested and optimised for the Automotive industry, building on years of previous innovations and improving on existing systems. The last two decades gave us some of the most important new Automotive techniques, features, and practices that have gone on to define the industry and laid the foundations for even more exciting Automotive innovations in the future.

Revolutionary New Car Designs:

1. Hybrid Engines and Electric Vehicles

Hybrid drivetrains have increased fuel efficiency and cleanliness, revolutionising the Automotive sector. Toyota was the first company to market a hybrid car back in 1998 and the Prius model is still going strong today.

Hybrid cars use a combination of traditional fuel and electric energy to power the vehicle. Fully electric vehicles are becoming increasingly common, with major Automotive manufacturers embracing the move with models either on the road or in the pipeline. Nowadays hybrid and electric vehicles can travel further, faster and for less money than they used to, and the technology behind them is improving all the time thanks to advances in Automotive science and heavy investment. As Automotive technology innovation becomes more accessible, affordable and efficient, we can expect to see more electric vehicles on the road.

2. Autonomous Vehicles

The groundwork for driverless cars can be traced back to radar-based cruise control systems introduced in the late 1990s. That same basic principle is now used in collision avoidance systems, through sensors that are also used when cars drive autonomously. These sensors can capture data about what is around the body of the car, which can then make decisions in real-time to navigate the autonomous car through traffic and around streets.

Changes in car design over the past 100 years have launched predictions that we will soon have fully autonomous vehicles, and while there are doubts about how safe driverless cars will be, the future will certainly have some degree of cars operating under their own ‘intelligence.’

3. Wi Fi and Connectivity in Cars

Satellite navigation has become so commonplace that we don’t really recognise it anymore. We can utilise the technology when we’re walking from our phones, meaning getting lost is now virtually a thing of the past. This technology was initially implemented in cars at great cost, yet now is included in virtually all car models as standard. If not, you can easily download an app that can help take you anywhere on earth.

Car design changes over the past 100 years have meant that cars themselves can now link to other complex communications networks. This has a host of benefits including more security, faster responses for breakdown and detailed support.

Leading on from the development of autonomous vehicles, cars are increasingly utilising wi-fi to give Automotive consumers something to do as they transition from active drivers to more passive passengers. The entire experience of moving from one place to another is changing as cars become more intelligent.

4. Improved Turbo Systems

Turbocharging systems have been around in various forms since the 1960s. They work through compressors driven by the vehicle’s exhaust, which force more air into the cylinders. When combined with more fuel, this results in more Automotive power.

Over time Automotive engines and their turbo systems have become smaller and more efficient, meaning they can be applied to traditional models. Changes in car design over the past century have created improved turbo systems that increase car efficiency and performance.

Learn more about the Automotive industry, or check out our Automotive Engineering jobs.

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