Evolution Of Cars Through 1910 To 2010

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When the Ford Model-T was introduced a century ago, it revolutionized the means of transport available to the common man. Cars have come a long way since their humble beginnings. The main differences between the cars of 1910 and 2010 lie in their engines, safety, comfort and technology.

Vast amounts of advancements have been made in the engines. Engines in the old cars were primitive. Hand cranking the engine just to get it started required strength which not every person had. Engines in old cars were a hazard to the environment as they spewed out harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. They were gas guzzlers mainly because they incorporated carburetors which wasted fuel. Cars in the present day and age however are much more advanced. Engines in modern cars have starter motors requiring a mere turn of a key to start the engine. Due to environmental concerns, modern cars come equipped with engines that have catalytic converters which convert poisonous carbon monoxide into harmless carbon dioxide. They also have sophisticated fuel injection systems making them fuel efficient which ultimately reduces their operating costs.

There have been developments in safety of cars as well. Cars of a century ago were moving metal death traps with little to no safety equipment. They had rigid body structures, which meant that if a car was involved in an accident, the force of the impact was transferred to the occupants which led to fatalities. Features like Airbags to reduce the impact of an accident to the passengers were absent. The braking systems were crude at best. Whenever the brakes were applied quickly, they would lock up causing the car to skid and loose control. Modern cars however have non rigid bodies which absorb the impact of an accident while keeping the passengers safe. Equipped with multiple airbags as standard, modern cars protect the passengers from side and frontal impacts thereby reducing the chances of serious injury. Complex safety systems like Anti Lock Brakes(ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution(EBD) and Traction Control System(TCS) aid in controlling the car when the driver is about to loose control.

Immense progress has been made in the level of the comfort of cars. Cars of a century ago were not a nice place to be in. They were noisy due to the lack of any form of sound proofing. Traveling in the extremes of whether was near impossible because of the absence of amenities like air conditioners and heaters. Vibrations caused by driving on roads containing pot holes were transferred into the backs of the passengers due to hard suspension setups. The seats were mostly made of either a piece of wood or metal framing which were uncomfortable. On the contrary, modern cars are a comfortable place to be in. Heavy sound proofing ensures a quite cabin. Air conditioners and heaters with automatic temperature control make it possible to travel in any weather with extreme comfort. Suspensions on modern cars are controlled by computers which monitor the road conditions several times a second and adjust the suspension automatically to ensure a comfortable ride. Heated seats with massage capabilities add even more comfort for the passengers.

Cars have seen a plethora of technological innovations. Old cars were basically a metal box on four wheels with an engine at the front. They were devoid of any technology. The only thing they had at most was a radio or a cassette player. Cars of the present day and age however are a technological marvel. To guide passengers in an unknown location, modern cars come equipped with satellite navigation, have satellite radios which enable you to listen to any radio station regardless of its geographical location. Onboard internet is common in modern cars for connectivity on the go. Surround sound stereos with DVD playback keep the passengers occupied on long journeys.

Cars have evolved from a box on four wheels for basic transportation to a technological wonder with all the amenities that passengers want. Advancements in engines, safety, comfort and technology have made the car one of the best modes of transport on the road today, a far sight from the primitive cars of a century ago.

Picture: Ford Model T by David Beasly

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