The top 20 important driving innovations ever – according to motorists


A quiz has been created to find out if you know your Maybachs from your Mazdas.

It comes as research reveals the best automotive innovations have been revealed as multiple airbags, GPS satellite navigation and reversing cameras.

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A study of 2,000 adults with a driving licence found three in 10 could not live without the gadgetry in their car, with other popular inventions including power steering and parking sensors.

Motorists are also taken with the introduction of hybrid and electrical vehicles, while others welcomed adaptive cruise control and auto-defrosting windshields.

Also featured in the top 20 list of innovations are parking sensors, keyless entry and heated seats.

Motoring masterminds

The research was commissioned by Motorpoint to celebrate its 25th anniversary, during which time it has sold over a million vehicles since opening its first branch in Derby and now has 19 stores across the UK.

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To mark a quarter of a century, the nearly new car retailer has partnered with radio and TV presenter and car collector Melvin Odoom and put him to the ultimate ‘Motormind’ automotive knowledge test, where he scored a respectable six out 10.

He said: “I’ve always loved cars, in fact I’ve owned 12 in total, with my first being a Fiat Brava which I bought in 2002.

“I consider myself very clued up on the subject of motoring and my ‘Motormind’ interview really challenged me.

“As it turns out, I seem to do alright when it comes to where brands are from or when they launch a luxury division – but I had no idea everyone calls the Pope’s car the Popemobile.”

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The perfect features

The study, carried out via OnePoll, found almost one in five (18 per cent) said assisted parking in any form would be the feature they’d like to have in their car, such as self-parking or parking sensors.

While just under one in 10 dream of having heated features such as seats, steering wheel or front screen.

With technological features being so important to many, the 2020s were named the decade Brits think cars look the coolest, beating the 1960s and 1970s which came second and third.

Almost three in 10 (28 per cent) drivers would love to own a classic car but would struggle without modern day gadgets such as electric windows, wing mirrors which show the blind spot and tyre pressure monitoring.

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It also emerged that 45 per cent have reminisced with others about old cars, including talking about their first car (37 per cent), the car their parents had when they were a child (23 per cent) and their favourite model (21 per cent).

Some respondents cited family trips and getting a sense of freedom when driving for the first time after getting their license as one of the most memorable moments of their life.

James Linsell-Clark SWNS

The evolution of motors

Melvin Odoom said: “I think the car I was fondest of was a Bentley I owned. My mother hadn’t liked any of my previous cars but became particularly attached to this one.

“From that point onwards, I became her chauffeur. I remember the Bentley always being full of suitcases and will always associate that car with my mum.”

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Mark Carpenter, CEO of Motorpoint said: “Cars have evolved a lot since we opened our first store 25 years ago.

“Back in 1998, some of the tech we take for granted wasn’t even in development. Even then, it would have been inconceivable that cars could help us park, and smartphones were several years away.

“We’re proud to still be a part of the industry that’s kept Britain on the roads for a quarter of a century, and we as a business have grown a lot too.

“As we look forward to the next 25 years, it feels pertinent to reflect on fond memories of cars in the past, and to look ahead to an exciting future.”

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Top 20 important driving innovations ever according to motorists

1. Multiple airbags

2. GPS satellite navigation

3. Reversing cameras

4. Power steering

5. Parking sensors

6. Self-parking systems

7. Hybrid vehicles

8. Mass-market electric vehicles

9. Adaptive cruise control

10. In-car Bluetooth

11. Remote central locking

12. Keyless entry

13. Tyre pressure monitoring

14. Electric windows

15. Wing mirrors that tell you when someone's in your blind spot

16. Auto-defrosting windshields

17. Autonomous cars

18. Headlights that turn on automatically in the dark

19. Smartphone integration e.g. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto

20. Heated seats

Top five modern pieces of car technology UK adults would not want to drive without

1. In-car Bluetooth

2. LED headlights

3. Keyless entry

4. Smartphone integration

5. Adaptive cruise control