It’s always entertaining to look back on the unique traits of old cars. Twenty years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see cars with hand-crank windows-each roll up or down serving as a makeshift workout for a driver’s arm and back muscles. Witnessing how far the industry has come just two decades later, aside from hovering and speeding through the air, it’s safe to say the cars of 2020 are meeting and even exceeding the wildest ambitions we may have had back in 2000. It’s easy for drivers to be in awe of the latest automation feats. After all, how can you not take notice when a vehicle is driving itself?
What many drivers don’t realise is that automation has almost always been a part of their experience behind the wheel. The first power windows were introduced way back in 1940. The earliest version of cruise control was patented in 1950. You could even purchase a car with hands-free phone capabilities back in 1988. These features are now so common in consumer vehicles that we forget the subtle role automation has already been playing in making our everyday car experience possible. There are even six levels of vehicle autonomy that outline the progress and what’s on the horizon for the vehicles of the future.