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A Journey Through the History of Cars [Infographic]

A Journey Through the History of Cars [Infographic]

It’s difficult to imagine a world without automotive transport. We are surrounded by the internal combustion engine; it has driven a revolution in mobility that has transformed how we live and the appearance of our cities. This fab interactive infographic tells the story of the big moments and game-changing cars that have defined the journey to today – and what will shape the road ahead.

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    One way or another?

    There was a moment in time when the story of motoring could have headed in a totally different direction. Much of the early motoring buzz was around the potential of electric cars; in the US alone, 30,000 such vehicles were on the roads by 1900. Even earlier, steam and hydrogen-powered alternatives were also widely trailed and tested. If any of these solutions had caught on, the world of transport might have been a very different place.

    But petrol power won the race for early dominance. In 1885, the Benz Motorwagen was the first car to make it to production. Cars remained the preserve of the super wealthy until the post-war boom of mass production in the 1920s. The Ford Model T is widely regarded as the breakthrough – the first truly ‘popular’ car, available to all.

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    From there, the spread of motor vehicles across the world has been as relentless as it has been revolutionary. There are 1.2 billion cars in the world, of which 97.5% are petrol-powered, with the USA leading the way in ownership – with 250 million vehicles on the road. In less than a century, the humble motor vehicle has changed the face of the planet forever – but what does the next century hold for the drivers of tomorrow?

    Around the corner

    The future of cars is bright but there are challenges on the road ahead. Moving towards a safer and more sustainable version of driving is the global direction of travel. The recent Volkswagen emissions scandal has brought concerns about the impact of driving on the environment back on to the front pages of the world’s media. But, in the light of these environmental costs, how will driving change?

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    A market transition is looming; global transformation is imminent, and the big brands are already prepared. But there are new names leading the way – rather than established manufacturers or fuel giants, global tech powers like Google are investing heavily in developing driverless technology, while Apple has recognized the potential benefit of a boom for integrated in-car technology.

    Driverless cars are central to this idea of change – a more sustainable, efficient and less stressful way to travel which could reduce accidents and transform our towns and cities. Concerns around the capacity of computers to make ethical decisions have not yet been resolved, and there remains a reluctance from many drivers to pass control of the wheel over to the machines.

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    Tech wizard Elon Musk, CEO of electro-pioneers Tesla, is very clear about how the future will demand radical changes to our day-to-day habits. According to Musk, a driverless car, ten times safer than one driven by a human, is only five years away – and this is a change that is not just desirable, but necessary. “Some people don’t like change,” he says, “but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.”

    Ominous words, but there’s a lot to celebrate about the global impact of motoring. The car has been a tool for progress and an enabler of personal freedom across the world – and as technology accelerates, things can only get better.

    What do you think the future of motoring holds? Would you trust a driverless car? Let us know!

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    Last Updated on March 24, 2021

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    8 Smart Home Gadgets You Need in Your House

    We’ve all done it. We’ve gone out and bought useless gadgets that we don’t really need, just because they seemed really cool at the time. Then, we are stuck with a bunch of junk, and end up tossing it or trying to sell it on Ebay.

    On the other hand, there are some pretty awesome tech inventions that are actually useful. For instance, many of the latest home gadgets do some of your work for you, from adjusting the home thermostat to locking your front door. And, if used as designed, these tools should really help to make your life a lot easier—and that’s not just a claim from some infomercial trying to sell you yet another useless gadget.

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    Take a look at some of the most popular “smart gadgets” on the market:

    1. Smart Door Locks

    A smart lock lets you lock and unlock your doors by using your smartphone, a special key fob, or biometrics. These locks are keyless, and much more difficult for intruders to break into, making your home a lot safer. You can even use a special app to let people into your home if you are not there to greet them.

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    2. Smart Kitchen Tools

    Wouldn’t you just love to have a pot of coffee waiting for you when you get home from work? What about a “smart pan” that tells you exactly when you need to flip that omelet? From meat thermometers to kitchen scales, you’ll find a variety of “smart” gadgets designed to make culinary geeks salivate.

    3. Mini Home Speaker Play:1

    If you love big sound, but hate how much space big speakers take up, and if you want a stereo system that is no bigger than your fist, check out the Play:1 mini speaker. All you have to do is plug it in, connect, and then you can stream without worrying about any interruptions or interface. You can even add onto it, and have different music playing in different rooms.

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    4. Wi-Fi Security Cameras

    These are the latest in home security, and they connect to the Wi-Fi in your home. You can use your mobile devices to monitor what is going on in your home at all times, no matter where you are. Options include motion sensors, two-way audio, and different recording options.

    5. Nest Thermostat

    This is a thermostat that lives with you. It can sense seasonal changes, temperature changes, etc., and it will adjust itself automatically. You will never have to fiddle with a thermostat dial or keypad again, because this one basically does all of the work for you. It can also help you to save as much as 12% on heating bills, and 15% on cooling bills.

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    6. Smart Lighting

    Control your home lighting from your remote device. This is great if you are out and want to make sure that there are some lights on. It is designed to be energy efficient, so it will pay for itself over time because you won’t have to spend so much on your monthly energy bills.

    7. Google Chromecast Ultra

    Whether you love movies, television shows, music, etc., you can stream it all using Google Chromecast Ultra. Stream all of the entertainment you love in up to 4K UHD and HDR, for just $69 monthly.

    8. Canary

    This home security system will automatically contact emergency services when they are needed. This system offers both video and audio surveillance, so there will be evidence if there are any break-ins on your property. You can also use it to check up on what’s happening at home when you are not there, including to make sure the kids are doing their homework.

    Featured photo credit: Karolina via kaboompics.com

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