For 120 years, the evolution of the automobile has been constant. However, some eras have witnessed faster progress than others. The current automotive age is a particularly dynamic one, as change in many forms is taking place at lightning speed.
If we look back over the last 15 years, we can see that the progress has been phenomenal. Technology, safety, connectivity: in all these areas, the industry has made enormous strides. In the area of safety, in particular, look back a little further and you marvel at how far we’ve come. In 1995, 3,313 people died on Canadian roads in accidents involving vehicles. By 2018, that number had shrunk to 1,922, after falling to an all-time a low of 1,841 in 2014. I’d like to say that’s because Canadians are better drivers today, but frankly that’s probably not the case. Rather, the vehicles they drive are simply safer. Much safer.
So when we take a good look in the rearview mirror and see where we’ve been compared to where we are now, we realize how some of the technologies are now taken for granted, and it’s imaginable to do without them. Here are 10 of those must-haves.
1 - Heated seats
Today, all models on the market offer heated seats, either standard or as an option. In the winter, these seats are a godsend for Canadians when the temperature drops. Incredibly, to find the first such system in a car, you have to go back to 1966, when Cadillac offered it as a $60.20 option with the Cadillac de Ville. Clearly, they're here to stay.