Car Tech

World-Changing Automotive Breakthroughs

In this time of being able to buy cars over the Internet, and knowing that your choice, whatever it may be, will come with standard features, like seatbelts, windshield wipers, and other features so commonplace you'd be horrified to discover that any were missing from your purchase, it's hard to believe that there was once a time – not so very long ago, really – that cars didn't have those features.

They had to be invented. Unfortunately, the rapid advancement of automobile design, with multiple inventors developing very similar concepts completely independent of each other, means that now it is difficult to pinpoint who invented exactly what, exactly when. Many features were the subject of virtually simultaneous, duelling patents. As a result, for the most part, the following list details when these breakthroughs were first featured in commercially available cars, not in concept cars or hidden in some guy's garage.