It’s no surprise that the earliest cars were nowhere near as comfortable as what we have today. But, have you ever really thought about how automotive comfort changed over the years? You may not realize how far the comfort and technology has come. In this article, we’ll explore how technology revolutionized auto interiors.
The early 1900s
Did you know that the first automobiles were open-air vehicles? With no windshield, sides, or roof, drivers got exposed to whatever weather Mother Nature threw their way. Luckily, Cadillac came out with the first closed body car in 1910. Now that vehicles had an enclosed interior space, automakers focused on making these as comfortable as possible. The 1910s saw a few more notable inventions. In 1912, Cadillac installed the first electronic self-starters, ignitions, and lighting. Power door locks came along in 1914 from luxury brand Scripps-Booth. These added conveniences paved the way for future advancements in automotive interiors.
Climate control comfort
Because there were no temperature controls in early automobiles, they were usually too hot or cold. To fix this, Ford introduced the first interior heating system in 1929. In 1940, Packard Motor Car Company created the first in-car air conditioners. In 1960, Cadillac improved on these inventions and released an automatic climate control system. This gave drivers full control of their interior temperature. In 1980, Cadillac made its climate control system fully electronic. This system is used in current vehicles. It is also the system that helps keep you and your passengers comfortable while on the road.
Seat improvements and comfort
One of the most popular features is heated seats. These were invented back in 1966 by Cadillac. On the other end of the spectrum are cooled seats. These ventilated seats were first seen from Saab in 1998. Nowadays, you can find models that offer a variety of comfort features, such as heated paneling or heated steering wheels. If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury option, Mercedes installs seat massagers. This provides added comfort when driving or riding in your vehicle.
Automotive sound systems have gone through quite the transformation. However, it all started back in the 1920s with the first AM radios. In addition, this became a standard feature by the 1930s. After an unsuccessful attempt to install in-car record players, the next big thing was the Ford Mustang’s 8-track player. Eventually, this got phased out in favor of cassette players. The first car CD players came about in the 1980s and remained popular until the early 2000s. At this point, compact digital storage media, like USB ports, really took off. Now, any music can be streamed from our phones to our cars. This makes it easier to play the type of music, or even specific artists or songs through the car.
Modern technology and human-machine interfaces
Modern vehicles come equipped with human-machine interfaces, which is also called HMI. These are upgrades to the comfort in your car. They can include the following in your vehicle…
- Touch interfaces
- Advanced lighting and sound systems
- Interior temperature and seat comfort
- Internet and cloud connectivity
- Wireless communication.
Understanding how far automotive comfort has come can give you a new sense of appreciation for your vehicle. Call our experienced technicians at Parents Autocare at (612) 827-3838. We can help answer any questions or concerns you might have. As always, make sure to contact us with any issues your vehicle has. Even a small issue can quickly turn into something larger and more expensive down the road. By bringing it in, you can help ensure a safe and reliable drive when on the road this winter.