When it comes to convenience and comfort, cars have come a long way. These days, we can manage almost everything through the click of a button. In this article, we’ll talk about the transformation of automotive comfort, from the early 1900s to present day.
The early 1900s
In terms of comfort, the earliest automobiles weren’t much different from wagons. These vehicles were open-air, so passengers were exposed to all temperatures and precipitation. In 1910, Cadillac created the first closed body car, which was a game changer. Once this happened, manufacturers began looking for ways to make car interiors as comfortable as possible.
This quest for comfort and convenience led to several key developments. In 1912, the Cadillac Model Thirty came equipped with an electronic self-starter, lighting, and ignition. In 1914, Scripps-Booth vehicles had power door locks. Ford invented the first interior heating system in 1929. All these improvements opened the door for the technology we see in today’s vehicles.
This focus on auto interiors brought about the development of sound systems. The first radios were installed in the late 1920s, with AM radios offered as a standard feature by the 1930s. The first AM/FM radio came about in 1950. In 1966, Ford began installing 8-track players in their Mustangs. Eventually, these were discontinued and replaced with cassette players, which were more reliable. CD players were the newest technology in the 1980s, and they remained popular forabout15to20years. The2000ssawthedevelopmentofcompactdigitalstoragemedia,like USB ports in cars. These days, everyone is streaming music from their personal devices to their car’s sound system. Our music systems have certainly come a long way!
Climate control comfort
One of the biggest innovations in car comfort was the ability to manage the interior temperature. In 1940, Packard Motor Car Company had two huge breakthroughs: power windows and in-car air conditioners. Both inventions provided a way to adjust a car’s interior temperature. Cadillac built on this in 1960, with their invention of an automatic climate control system. This allowed people to choose a preferred temperature inside their vehicles. This system was further developed, and by 1980 it was all electronic. These are the same modern systems we have today.
If you ask me, heated seats are the best invention since sliced bread. We can thank Cadillac for inventing this luxury feature back in 1966. Since then, automakers have developed lots of heated features, from side panels to steering wheels. In 1998, Saab went in the opposite direction and developed ventilated seats. Nothing tops the ultimate luxury of massaging car seats. These were brought to us by Mercedes in the 2000s. I don’t know if it can get much better than spa-like comfort in your car.
Modern technology and human machine interfaces
Today’s vehicles are equipped with smart interfaces that let you integrate your personal device or smartphone. Human machine interface (HMI) technology lets you access luxury features through the tap of a screen. This includes the following:
- Touch interfaces
- Interior temperature and seat comfort
- Internet and cloud connectivity
- Advanced lighting and sound systems
- Wireless communication
HMI technology gives you control to customize just about anything in your vehicle’s interior with the click of a button.
It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come since open-air automobiles. Do you have questions about the interior features in your vehicle? Our experienced technicians at Brausen Auto have answers. Give us a call today at (651) 633-4100 for our Arden Hills location, or (651) 488-8800 for our Roseville location. You can also request your appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you.