Top 5 military technologies used in today’s cars

AutoColumn team makes a compilation of top military technologies with latest trends for cars.

1. GPS Navigation


Travelling through unknown terrains and areas, we subconsciously switch on the GPS setting the destination and following it blindly. Never does it occur to us that this, once upon a time, was a very expensive and high tech piece of technology. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) developed the system, which originally used 24 satellites. It became fully operational in 1995.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a space-based navigation system that provides location and time information in all weather conditions, anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites. The system provides critical capabilities to military, civil, and commercial users around the world. The United States government created the system, maintains it, and makes it freely accessible to anyone with a GPS receiver.


ABS System on Aircraft


2. Anti-Lock Brakes

ABS was first developed for aircraft use in 1929 by the French automobile and aircraft pioneer Gabriel Voisin,as threshold braking on airplanes.In the 1960s, automobile manufacturers began to experiment with ABS systems on passenger cars. The Ford Zodiac prototype featured one of the first viable ABS systems of this sort, but the expense associated with ABS led most auto manufacturers to abandon their efforts.
Since the 70’s, Cadillac offered ABS as a premium option on some rear-wheel drive models, but it remained an uncommon feature for mass-market cars. The addition of computer-controlled sensors, and a general emphasis on automobile safety has led to a rapid evolution of the effectiveness and popularity of ABS.

turbo charged engine

Turbo-charged Engine


3. Turbo-charged Engine

In 1915, it was a French engineer named Auguste Rateau fitted a few prototype turbos to Renault engines powering French fighter planes. Three years later, General Electric engineer Sanford Moss attached a blower to a Liberty V-12 aircraft engine. Oddly, aircraft turbos weren’t meant to increase net power. At the time, turbos were set up to simply maintain a ground-level 14 psi of air pressure regardless of altitude.

Early vehicle applications included earth-moving equipment and diesel trucks, but by 1962, Honeywell was boosting the world’s first turbocharger production car – the Oldsmobile Jetfire Rocket. This was followed by several other firsts, including the first turbocharged car to win the Indianapolis 500 (1968), the first turbo for a non-sports car application (1977-Saab 99), the first mass production turbo for diesel engines (1978-Mercedes 300TD), and the first turbo race car to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1978-Renault).

4. Interchangeable Parts

In 1801, legendary American inventor Eli Whitney demonstrated a solution. He invented the milling machine — the other tool we use to machine engine parts.

The American Revolution really was France’s Vietnam. It completely bankrupted the country, and directly led to the French Revolution. Europe erupted into all-out chaos, and the newly formed United States was getting dragged back into it. Whitney, seeing conflict looming on the horizon, showed up at the War Department (now, less accurately known as “The Department of Defense”) with 10 very special muskets.

Top 10 Military Technologies Used In Cars

Interchangeable parts on Muskets

Right in front of the ministers of war, he completely disassembled all 10 guns, tossed the parts in a sack, and dumped them all back out on a table. He then began grabbing parts, and putting them back together into 10 functioning muskets. The world quickly filled up with weapons, and the machines to move, arm and kill vast quantities of soldiers — and that’s been the story ever since.

Whitney had just demonstrated history’s first recorded use of standardized, interchangeable parts.

Without interchangeable parts, it would have been near impossible to own a car these days.


One of the early computers


5. Computers

Computer wizardry has saved a lot of us in times of crises through Electronic Stability Control , torque vectoring and electric differential and many other things. Most people these days already know the story of Collossus, the top-secret computer built by England to break Germany’s unbeatable Lorentz Code. Britain ultimately built 10 of the massive machines, which used up to 2,400 vacuum tubes (aka “valves,” a type of mechanical relay) to act as on/off switches in the circuitry. These machines were absolutely enormous, requiring 7.5 kilowatts of power to run, filling up a very large room, and weighing over a ton.

Today’s, chips are thousand times faster and are less than a couple of centimeters in size. Those first point-contact transistors were invented by German physicists Herbert Matare and Heinrich Walker. Matare originally developed the principle while working on crystal rectifiers in WWII, as part of the German effort to develop radar. Germany never did put together radar systems on par with the Allies. But when used as a replacement for vacuum tubes, Matare’s transistors did ultimately go on to spawn the microprocessors of today.

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