Many of the high-tech solutions of our automotive modernity are actually based on long-standing ideas that have become reality thanks to today's capabilities of metallurgy, electronics, chemistry and many other sciences.
Turn the lights
The mechanical embodiment of this system was developed by Cadillac in 1930.
Leading lighting companies such as Hella and a number of automotive companies are actively working on the practical implementation of automotive light sources on their own, following the curve, and the most modern ones actively change the shape of the illuminated spot. These modern luminaires use a wide variety of functional schemes - from options that supplant the entire internal luminaire, movable mirror surfaces with additional side lights, to LED elements with light beam modulation.
Many will say that, in principle, this is nothing new, giving an example Citroen DS21 from the sixties of the last century, but we will take you back a little further in time - back in 1930, the luxurious and very expensive for its time Cadillac V16 uses a finely articulated system connected to the steering system, which turns in the direction of the turn two additional headlights, located on a dedicated console. Automatic switching on of lights in the dark was also first used by Cadillac in 1963.
DAF? A little earlier - Barber 1903
Today, many small and compact cars successfully use the principle of the so-called "V-belt variator" in a continuously variable transmission, but the first serial transmissions of this type were created much earlier by the Dutch company Van Doorn Transmisie and applied in the famous Variomatic model. DAF. However, the first attempts to apply this principle date back to 1903, when the American company Barber installed a similar mechanism on the Hutton car.
Alcohol as fuel
Ford Flex Fuel - yes, the brand's lineup starts with the Model T
This is another hotly debated alternative to fuel oil before prices plummet and car companies are adopting more sophisticated mass-use solutions than modern downsizing units that can automatically adapt the fuel injection system based on the amount of ethyl alcohol in the container.
However, the idea of this fuel is not at all new. Almost 100 years ago, many car designers, including Henry Ford himself, believed that the future belonged to this clean and efficient source of energy, and brought their beliefs to life - many Ford T models have a dedicated button on the dashboard. to select the operating mode of the carburetor depending on whether you are using gasoline or alcohol. After the discovery of many new oil fields and a sharp drop in oil prices, alcohol faded into the background, but is not completely forgotten - in the twenties and thirties it was used as an excellent high-octane additive in sports cars, and in the 70s it experienced a revival in Brazil thanks to the government-controlled Proalcool program to replace expensive oil with local raw materials. During World War II, some Japanese fighters also used alcohol-distilled fuelwood.
Peanut butter as an alternative to diesel
According to European directives, there is already a mandatory proportion of organic products in the fuel, but
Plant-based alternatives to diesel are not new - in fact, the experimental prototype of Rudolph Diesel, shown at an exhibition in Paris in 1900, ran on peanut oil, and at that time designers experimented with all other fuels that did not use oil. The fact that a heavier oil fraction than gasoline and kerosene (later called "diesel") is an excellent fuel for Rudolf Diesel's new high-performance engine was established much later.
The Wehrmacht used them during World War II.
In some diesel fuels, Shell uses synthetic diesel fuel produced from natural gas. However, the idea and technology for the production of this product is by no means new. Back in the 20s, German scientists Friedrich Bergius, Franz Fischer and Hans Tropsch developed technologies for the artificial production of liquid fuels from coal, but in practice the Fischer / Tropsch process made it possible to use natural gas as a raw material. During the Second World War, a number of factories for the production of synthetic fuels operated in Germany, which by the end of the war and the loss of the Romanian oil fields were actually the only source for driving military equipment.
How do you like ecology in 1909?
Today's sophisticated variable-performance catalysts come from relatively simple, uncontrolled catalysts that scientists created under the pressure of catastrophic large-scale pollution in California decades ago.
The first device for cleaning the exhaust gases of an automobile engine was created by chemist Walter Ostwald in 1909 - think how much imagination it took with so many cars on the road ...
Engineer Georgy Kolev