New devices?

An earlier post regarding a car-related invention spawned a question in my mind: What single new item or feature that does not currently exist, would you like to see added to a vehicle? This calls for some of those out-of-the-box answers that may or may not be technically feasible. Let your mind wander.

Here are some that come to my mind:

Tires that morph to adapt to changed driving conditions.

Instant heat in cold climates - not just heated seats. (Cars in the 40s/50s used to have a separate gas heater - don’t know if something like this is still available)

Switchable gas reserve tank with enough to get you to a station. For those that don?t pay attention to gas gages. (My Harley used to have this)

Windshields that snow, frost, and ice will not adhere to.

Most of the things you mention have already been tried or invented. Ford introduced a virtually instant defrosting windshield made with a thin layer of gold which acted as a conductor. It was expensive and even more expensive to replace. It never caught on.

We could ahve virtually instant heat in our cars by running the A/C backwards as a heat pump. Aircraft are heated that way! But that would cost more to run, since now the water jacket heat is free. The heat pump may yet find application in electric cars and hybrids.

The gasoline heater in the Volkwagen was a disaster; it gobbled up gas and made a mock of the term “economy car”. It was also unrelaible.

The adaptive tires are gradually being developed; the new winter tires have a remarkable traction range which will be improved on as time goes on.

Switchable gas reserve tanks were used on the VW beetle first, and then Jaguar sedans had left and right fuel tanks. This really a dumb idea, since it complicates the fuel system. Learning to watch the fuel gage is a better idea.

Cars are becoming better all the time, but unfortunately drivers are not.

Some things like the automatic headlight dimmer were tried by Cadillac in the fifties; it never caught on. Neither did swivel driver seat and front seat by Chrysler.

The most convenient accessory has to be the cup holder. Some ideas are simple and cheap and catch on. Others are gimmicks dreamt up by the sales and styling departments (tail fins, headlight covers) to boost sales.

For your instant heat desires, doesn’t the Prius actually store heated coolant in a “thermos” of sorts to help bring the car up to operating temperature quicker?

I know Ford was experimenting with this approach over a decade ago on their trucks. You could park one in the middle of Alaska in the dead of winter, leave it overnight, come out, and have heat in the cabin in just over a minute… Not sure what ever came of this, and I’m having a hard time finding the articles talking about it now…

A beeper to remind you that the oil light or overheat light just came on. Purely mechanical heater controls. Signal lights not attached right on the headlight assembly. The signals cannot be seen right next to headlights that are on.

Fuel-less operation? Perpetual motion? Something like that? :slight_smile:

Radios and heater controls with actual knobs and sliders so that I can tell by feel what position the settings are at without having to take my eyes off the road.

Oh! Wait! They just disinvented that!

The heated Ford windshield system had a separate alternator just for the windshield didn’t it?

It seems like you could get pretty fast heat from the catalytic converter, but it would add a lot of cost. The heat pump reversed AC would not work when you need it most when the ambient temp is below freezing.

On my Thunderbird, the ducts that go under the front seats ride down the sides of the transmission tunnel to pick up radiant heat from the transmission and catalytic converters.

Why not go a step or two further and have the beep come on a few seconds before it slows/shuts the engine off to prevent damage?

Scratch-proof paint.

Dent proof body panels, but I guess that is supposed to come under the heading, ‘respect’.

Saturn did that. I’ll say no more.

lots of headroom, lots of legroom.

Yeah, plastic.

You put much faith in Saturn, Mb?

Yeah my 59 Volkswagon had most of that. Gas heater and spare tank because there was no gas gauge and no radiator. Usually when the engineers start to think out of the box, it adds about $5000 to the cost of a car.

You’re not the Bill Russell, are you? Go Sixers.

Yes, yes, yes!!! Simplicity please. K.I.S.S. and then some!!!