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Changing Times: How technology impacts your snowy drive

(WAOW) — Whether you prefer the classic, or can’t get enough of the new, it’s no surprise that your car’s technology is more advanced than ever before. But what technology did your grandparents’ vehicles have to deal with the winter?

Winter Tires: Believe it or not, winter tires are nothing new. In fact, according to, the first set of winter tires came out of Finland in 1934. At the time, they were a pretty big advancement in technology and were said to keep drivers, pedestrians, and even horse carts safer. Nowadays, you’ll find bunches of different winter tire options, including studded.

Anti-Lock Breaking System: ABS also isn’t as new as you might think. This life-saving technology was actually created in 1929 by Gabriel Voisin, a French aviation pioneer. However, according to NDTV, the brakes were only tested on airplanes at the time and weren’t viable on cars. Since then, the technology has come a long way with electronic sensors and science behind every press of the pedal.

Four-Wheel/All-Wheel Drive: You’ve probably heard someone say, “Four-wheel drive can help you go, but it can’t help you stop.” That may be true, but it’s hard to deny that four-wheel drive can come in handy in snowy conditions. Although the exact creation of four-wheel drive is a bit of a mystery, according to, early systems likely came out around 1890-1900. The world’s first electric vehicle with four-wheel drive was presented at the 1900 World Exhibition in Paris. The 1902 Dutch Spyker car is considered to be the first mechanical four-wheel drive car.

Heated Seats: Heated seats are perhaps our favorite feature! Surely, they must be a modern invention, right? Well, compared to everything else on this list, they are actually a bit more modern. Not so fast, though! Heated seats, according to North Country Public Radio and, were possibly invented in 1951 by Robert Ballard. That exact pinpoint appears to be a bit hazy, but Cadillac reportedly offered heated seats starting in 1966 model years and Saab added them to their cars in the early 70s.

So, a lot of the technology in your car might actually be older than you think. Of course, keep in mind that with computers, this tech has made huge advances. Next time you hit the road, heat your seat, or throw it in four-wheel drive, think about how much times has passed since the first drivers got to take advantage of it.

Eric R.

I’m the 5PM producer at News 9. I love getting the chance to bring you the most up-to-date, breaking news to keep your day going.

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