Did you know that the history of modern automobiles dates back to the eighteenth century when an inventor designed the first steam-powered automobile?
The automobile went through several other design iterations since then and was slungshot forward by the investigation of the internal combustion engine in 1823. Things were further revolutionised by the Ford Model T, which was built with a system that is still used in car manufacturing today – the assembly line. Yet cars these days are miles ahead from even the Model T, with car design having travelled leaps and bounds since then.
Let’s take a look at what makes a modern vehicle, and how car design principles have changed over the years.
Older cars were fuel guzzlers, there’s no question. Now modern cars like the Kia Cerato hatchback offer vastly improved fuel efficiency.
This improved fuel economy means that every tank of fuel gets commuters further, and you can travel more without a refuel. This is a major point of difference, and also saves consumers money, as fuel consumption is one of the biggest ongoing costs associated with running a car.
Electric and Hybrid Cars
A few short decades ago, an electric or even a hybrid car was only a dream or a feature in science fiction books. Now, some of those authors are in their elderly years or passed away, and these cars are very much a reality.
Hybrid vehicles feature a large rechargeable battery, and usually, the fuel engine only kicks in over a certain speed. This means they consume less fuel and therefore cost less to run. Also, we now have completely electric vehicles, with no fossil fuel required to run them. These cars are whisper quiet and are quite high-tech in their design.
Consumers also feel good about driving these sorts of cars, as they are happy with their personal choices that benefit the environment.
Cars Have Gotten Smaller, and Larger
In the current time, we have cars that range in size from tiny smart cars that can seat two people (barely), to huge utility vehicles or larger Sports Utility Vehicles. While cars did vary in size in the past, the sizes in modern cars are vastly different. Take a small hatchback and then compare it to the largest SUV on the market – the difference is stunning.
Improved Safety Features
Modern cars have vastly improved safety features and ratings when compared to their older counterparts. This is probably one of the most important differences in automobile design from the past, as it means fewer people being harmed on the roads.
Older cars didn’t have the best safety features, due to the lack of available technology at the time. This is less a fault of car designers and more just a reflection of where the available technology was in development at the time.
Modern cars are designed to crumple under impact and prevent driver and passenger injury. They also come with plenty of airbags, and other safety features like lane drift alerts, emergency (and automatic) braking systems, reversing cameras and other safety technology.
A Car Design Conclusion
In this article, we’ve explained how car design principles have changed over the years. Cars today are more fuel-efficient, and we now have a range of electric and hybrid cars on the market. Also, the disparity in car sizes has increased. Modern cars also have a range of improved safety ratings, which is a key point of difference in car design principles from the past up until the current day.