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A journey of automotive ingenuity



A journey of automotive ingenuity

From the early days of open-top motorized transport to today’s technologically advanced self-driving sustainable vehicles, the evolution of comfort and design in modern cars has been an exciting journey, inspired by innovation and creativity.

Widely regarded as the world’s first automobile, model no. 1 of the Benz Patent Motor Car first ran on New Year’s Eve 1879. The three-wheeled two-seater vehicle was powered by a stationary gas engine and held together by a tubular steel frame that exposed the passengers to their surroundings.

In these early days of automotive history, cars were basic machines designed for transportation with little to no regard for passenger comfort. Bumpy rides, noisy cabins and minimal amenities were to be expected on long journeys. However, as cars became more accessible and affordable to the public, manufacturers began to prioritize comfort alongside performance and aesthetics.

In an effort to make vehicles more stable on rough terrain, Alanson P. Brush launched the “People’s Car” in 1906. The Brush Runabout was the first car with a suspension system with coil springs and built-in shock absorbers. The Volkswagen was also one of the first to replace a steering wheel with a steering rod. The combination of spring coils and shock absorbers can still be found in today’s cars.

Another benchmark for automotive comfort occurred in 1910 when Henry M. Leland’s Cadillac pioneered a passenger car with a fully enclosed cabin. The Cadillac Model 30 Roadster revolutionized passenger comfort by providing protection from the elements and creating a smoother driving experience.

The introduction of these features represented a significant leap forward in driving comfort. These innovations not only protected passengers from road imperfections, but also provided a more pleasant and refined driving experience. As cars continued to evolve, so did features aimed at improving passenger comfort, design and safety.

In 1909, Henry Ford began applying laminated glass to vehicles, recognizing the environmental hazards and the need for improved safety. The practice of installing glass panels in cars eventually became the norm for all Ford models and subsequently other automakers followed suit.

Meanwhile, headrests, or the adjustable headrests found in modern cars, were first patented in 1921 by Benjamin Katz and first marketed in 1968 by manufacturing company Volvo. These headrests reduce the severity of whiplash drivers feel during collisions, provide an emergency device to break a window in an emergency, and provide passengers with overall comfort.

Another modern safety feature that is necessary in car design is seat belts. These seat belts were first patented by Edward J. Claghorn in 1855. The three-point seat belt, similar to the seat belts we use today, was invented by Swedish inventor Nils Bohlin for Volvo.

The design and comfort of the car were further improved with the introduction of car cooling mechanisms. Although not the air conditioning system found in modern cars, the Thermador Car Cooler was the first feature to lower the temperature inside the car by cooling the air blown through the car’s open passenger window.

These amenities that most car owners take for granted were considered basic amenities when they used to be a luxury. Today’s cars are more carefully designed to accommodate a wide range of body types and preferences, allowing drivers and passengers to travel in comfort. In recent years, the integration of advanced technology has revolutionized the convenience and design of modern cars.

Gaining popularity over the years are audio systems installed in cars. Whether listening to the radio, playing music through the auxiliary port or connecting to music streaming services via Bluetooth, the audio system has been an important part for car owners and passengers because of its entertainment value.

Display systems in newer cars are also becoming increasingly important due to their added convenience and functionality. These display systems serve as centralized hubs for easy and efficient access to navigation, entertainment, communications and vehicle settings and display real-time video from front and rear cameras. They offer drivers an unprecedented level of convenience, safety and connectivity.

These modern features, along with basic automotive features, highlight the industry’s history of innovation and creativity and demonstrate how advances in technology and design have shaped the driving experience over time. These evolutions and innovations culminate in the latest releases from some of the best car manufacturers in the world.

Recently, automaker Mitsubishi Motors Philippines Corp. launched. (MMPC) officially released their all-new Triton pickup model. Named after the Greek god of the sea, the Triton is built to withstand challenging weather and road conditions, promising safe and comfortable off-road family expeditions.

The all-new Mitsubishi Triton –

The new model’s design features a wider stance, larger cargo space and a longer frame compared to other pickups. It also has smart headlights and a square grille, complemented by Mitsubishi’s iconic Dynamic Shield Design.

The Triton’s exterior is complemented by a redesigned interior that has been enhanced to provide a more comfortable and spacious cabin with all key amenities within easy reach, along with improved connectivity options via the new audio system with 9-inch display.

Furthermore, Mitsubishi’s latest model, together with Mitsubishi’s XForce, received the iF Design Award 2024 for its design concept ‘BEAST MODE’. The Triton’s optimized exterior and design express the robustness and strength expected of a pick-up, helping it win the prestigious IF Design Award and cementing its status as a benchmark for excellence in the automotive industry.

“We are truly honored to receive one of the world’s leading design awards for the two all-new models we launched this fiscal year,” said Seiji Watanabe, General Manager Design of Mitsubishi Motors Division. “This award will be our driving force as we introduce the Triton and XForce to even more customers.”

As we look to the future, more and more innovations will change the way we perceive cars. From autonomous driving capabilities to self-charging capabilities, the future of automotive design promises to be exciting, transformative and, most importantly, comfortable. — Jomarc Angelo M. Corpuz