Evolution of Cars - How much have they changed?
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  • How Much Have Cars Changed In The Last Ten Years
  • 24 July 2017
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    How Much Have Cars Changed In The Last Ten Years

    2007 does not feel that long ago but in reality, it's a whole decade! A lot can happen in ten years and we've had a look at just how much has changed in the automotive industry.

Over the last ten years technology has come on in leaps and bounds, the world we live in is vastly different compared to our 00’s selves. Online streaming, augmented reality devices, the Mars Rover and even the invention of the Android alternative to the iPhone are all technological advancements of the last decade, and the automotive industry is no exception to this revolution. So, backed by our love of all things motoring, we’ve had a look at some of the top ways cars have changed in the last ten years, read on and be amazed!



Vehicle options of 10 years ago such as the luxury of a CD player and cruise control are now something seen as standard! Over the last decade our urge and compulsion to stay connected at all times has grown more and more. Evident in the expansive and more than impressive growth in Social Media users and instant messaging services, car designers and engineers have developed cars to keep in line with this growing trend. Spawning technologies such as voice activated controls, bluetooth connectivity and more, recently Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all designed to keep us constantly connected to people and information.

                                                                                                                                                                                 Honda Connect


Gone are the days of the mixtape, compilation CD and the clumsy library of CDs kept in your door bins and glove compartment. Remember being impressed by how many CD’s the multi change player could hold? Today, motorists have access to a much wider array of compact, easy to access and transportable entertainment. From the invention of the first iPod in 2001, there has developed an expectancy that media is accessible at all times and, yet again, car engineers were quick to adapt this into our driving experience. The Auxiliary socket, the Bluetooth connectivity, built in hard drives and now we can stream our library of music through our entertainment screens. We even have access to online streaming services in our cars, the installation of onboard DVD players has even evolved to playing video files from our mobile devices! Suffice to say, we are pretty spoilt for choice when it comes to in-car entertainment.

They’ve got your back!

Backing into small spaces, parallel parking or even just checking your blind spot have all become easier tasks to perform. Maneuvers that were once made vastly easier by the support and assistance of a second person, either by guiding us back and indicating through a whole array of hand gestures just how close we were to the car behind or by just giving us that second set of eyes. Nowadays, cars are equipped with a whole array of assistive technology that makes all aspects of driving easier. Rear view cameras have made a solid appearance across all car models and, in more recent times, we have started to see the integrated dash cams, 360-degree cams and even bird's eye view camera! A great example of how new cars are quite literally keeping an eye out for you is the Citroen C3’s Connected-CAM, which actually gives you a recording should you be involved in a collision and may vastly aid in insurance claims!

                                                                                                                                      Nissan Qashqai Aound View Technology 

Accident Avoidance


In the last ten years, there have been noted advancements in the safety equipment required in each and every vehicle. It is almost shocking to think that in the early 2000’s you’d often only find the edition of two air bags in your vehicle and, scarily enough, you’d accept this as an adequate level of safety. As the 1st of November 2014, Europe took a major step forward in mandatory safety features. In addition to standard electronic stability control systems, all new cars sold in the EU must be equipped with new safety features such as (annoying as they are) driver seatbelt reminders, ISOFIX child seat anchorage. As of March 2018, all car manufacturers will be legally required to install eCall, an automatic emergency call system which reduces the time it takes for an emergency response team to arrive on the scene and so increasing road safety!  


There have also been really massive developments in assistive technology that is made to help you avoid an accident in the first place! Things like Collision Warning Systems, Pedestrian Alert, Automatic Braking, Blind Spot Information and Cross Traffic Alerts are all amazing technologies that help you avoid common causes of road traffic accidents!

                                                                                                                                                  360-degree Peugeot i-Cockpit

A fine example of the assistive features that are now seen in many vehicles is Nissan’s ProPilot and the Peugeot i-Cockpit. Both offer high tech assistive and autonomous features that support you in some of the tougher driving conditions. Read all about the i-Cockpit in our article, Peugeot i-COCKPIT Explained.


Fuel Economy and Efficiency


At the beginning of the 21st Century bigger was better and we saw the emergence of big, powerful petrol guzzlers. As we move towards the present day we have seen a much needed green revolution as people recognise the avoidable damage that has been done to the environment. As people's environmental conscience’ has grown, so has the development in alternate fuel. Most notably the release of the highly attractive Nissan LEAF in 2010, a game changer in the industry that finally offered a convenient and manageable alternative to fossil fueled vehicles across the world. We’ve got a great article that explains all the costs and benefits of the 2016 Nissan LEAF, read ‘2016 Nissan LEAF: Car Guide’ for more information. Even before this, we had witness and improvement in fuel economy by 14% between 2000 and 2010 and, as you can imagine, this is only set to continue! The introduction of a new VED, which stands for Vehicle Excise Duty and is the annual tax you pay to keep your car on the road, has also given more incentive to car owners to be more economically and environmentally aware. This is a new tax that prohibits and penalises heavy emission vehicles and has therefore influenced manufacturers to make their new releases more economic and so more appealing. If you’re not sure about the VED road taxes and what they mean, we’ve written a super useful blog all about it called ‘2017 VED Road Tax Changes. How Will It Affect Me?’ so head over, get caught up and don’t get caught out!

Integrated Navigation


Navigation systems have been in the pipework since the mid 60’s, but the ideas were more than often thwarted by their practicality and also elements like power, display and processing power! Since then we saw the release of CD-ROM based navigation in late 80’s and later we saw the release of household names like TomTom which was released in 1991 and Garmin’s StreetPilot, released in 1998… What we’re trying to say here is that the development process of navigation systems has been a long one and these systems have, until recently, seen as a bit of a luxury item or something we hire/borrow for longer and more adventurous journeys. These days you will be hard-pushed to find a vehicle without some sort of navigation, whether this is in the guise of an actual built in Sat-Nav or connective capabilities that allow you to access navigation displays on your mobile device. Things like MirrorLink, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto all allow you to display your maps on your actual car display and audio connectivity allows for verbal instruction!  




The actual design and construction of modern vehicles have become a key feature in the automotive process. Ergonomically designed dashes and chairs are kitted out with steering mounted controls and electronic lumbar support and strive to win the coveted design and comfort awards run by top automotive magazines and websites. Better interior materials, sleeker and more sophisticated interior designs and luxury editions such as heated and ventilated seats are all features that are, more often than not, included as a standard. Auto seat adjustment and memory functions are becoming more and more common and even passengers are being treated to some luxury instalments.



Keyless entry, keyless Start and Stop systems, alarms and warning systems are all examples of an ever-developing security systems. It is crazy to think that, in the not so distant past, cars didn’t even have central locking? Car security systems have been in development since the 50’s but, as with navigation systems, faced the problems of power drain and it wasn’t till the 70’s that this issue was overcome. Since then, with the vast developments in technology and autonomy cars have become much more in tune to surroundings with advanced anti-theft systems. One of the biggest technological features to out of the last ten years is the introduction of Black-Box insurance, a telematics system that calculates your insurance payments on the way that you drive.



Paint colours are becoming more and more varied and vibrant. With so many choices across a full range of both pearlescent, solid and matte colours it is becoming more and more popular to make a personal statement with your car. The last ten years have seen more vibrant colours edging their way into the consumer's hearts, with design and expression becoming more and more accepted in the consumer world! The development of paint spraying has made the process more accessible too! You can’t deny though, that the classic black and silver are still top contenders for colour choice but in 2016 blue, green, orange and yellow all made it into the top ten most popular paint colours!

Thanks to carfinance247 for this infographic


So, what’s next in the automotive world? The next decade will bring revolutionary changes in the automotive industry. A combination of ever improving technology and a shift in consumer choices, with a push towards more environmentally friendly and economical cars! Looking at just some of the concept vehicles that are being designed by leading manufacturers we are in for some very interesting times.

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