The automotive industry has seen enormous changes since its beginnings. One of the most significant of these changes is the improvements made to automotive interiors. In this article, we’ll examine the evolution of automotive comfort. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for your car’s features.
The early 1900s
The earliest automobiles were open-air vehicles. This exposed drivers and passengers to all rain, snow, and sleet. Seeing the discomfort in this, Cadillac developed a closed body car in 1910. With drivers protected from the elements, automakers set out to make their interiors as luxurious as possible. Several key inventions paved the way for future comfort and convenience features. In 1912, Cadillac led the charge with their electronic self-starters, ignitions, and lighting. By 1914, Scripps-Booth was installing power door locks on their cars, and by 1929 Ford came out with the first heating systems. In conclusion, these inventions all made the driving experience easier and more agreeable.
With no temperature controls, car interiors were often too hot or too cold. To address this, the Packard Motor Car Company developed in-car air conditioners and power windows in 1940. However, in 1960, Cadillac took this a step further and released an automatic climate control system. This let cars hold an interior temperature, regardless of how hot or cold it was outside. In 1980, Cadillac created a fully electronic climate control system. In other words, this is the basis for what’s used today.
In addition to temperature control, automakers have aimed to make vehicle seats as comfortable as possible. First, in 1966, with the release of heated seats by Cadillac happened. This feature was eventually incorporated in other car parts, like the armrest and steering wheel. In 1998, Saab came out with ventilated seats to cool down the driver. Of all the various features and improvements, the best has to be the Mercedes luxury seat massagers.
Sound systems in cars have undergone a fascinating transformation over the years. The late 1920s saw the first AM radios in cars. In 1950, the first AM/FM radios with scanners were introduced. However, after an unsuccessful experiment with an in-car record player, 8-track players gained popularity in the 1960s. Over time, these were succeeded by cassette players. The 1980s saw the birth of the car CD player, which remained popular for the next 15 to 20 years. For instance, by the early 2000s, audio technology shifted toward compact digital storage media. Nowadays, modern technology allows us to stream music from our phones to our cars.
Modern technology and human-machine interfaces
Now, vehicles come equipped with smart interfaces that let you integrate your smartphone. This technology is known as HMI, which stands for human-machine interface. HMI technology gives easy access to a variety of customizable interior functions. This includes:
- Touch interfaces
- Wireless communication
- Internet and cloud connectivity
- Interior temperature and seat comfort
- Advanced lighting and sound systems
Thanks to HMI technology, drivers can have full control over these features with the tap of a screen. In today’s modern world, it’s easy to take your car’s comfort features for granted. Our experienced technicians at Kremer Services are here for you, so call today at (651) 455-1604, or request your appointment online.