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15 Facts About Cars That Will Make You Glad You Live In 2016

Ya know, you kids today don't know how good you've got it.

1893: Alfred Vacheron becomes the first to put a steering wheel in a car instead of a tiller, which is a sort of...stick-like thing.

BBC / Via

Just think about how different all those songs about driving would be if these wonderful round things had never come to fruition.

1902: Drum brakes are patented by Louis Renault and become widely used in all automobiles for 50 years. / Via

Drum brakes are still used today but typically just in rear wheels. They differ from disc brakes by having brake shoes press against the inside of a drum attached to the wheel.

1908: Henry Ford introduces the first mass-produced automobile, making car ownership a real, economically feasible option for ordinary people. / Via

Unfortunately, Bluetooth wasn't yet a standard feature.

1911: Charles Kettering shuts down his haters by receiving a patent for an electronic self-starter small and powerful enough to fit under a car’s hood. / Via

Without an electric starter, you'd have to hand-crank your engine to get it started, which is not nearly as simple or cute as this.

1914: The first electric traffic signal is installed on a street corner in Cleveland, Ohio.

Before that, roads were hectic to say the least, with pedestrians, horses, streetcars, cars, and bicycles all pretty much doing whatever they wanted. Ponder over that when you're stuck at the next red light.

1930: The first in-car radio is introduced for a whopping $110 (about $1,500 today).

AM radio, baby!! The only entertainment you could ever need while driving!

1939: The first car to offer air conditioning is introduced. / Via

*It definitely didn't blow this strong. By the late '60s, air conditioning was common and in over half of all new cars sold.

1951: Power steering is first introduced in wide commercial production and becomes increasingly more common into the 1950s.

Hydraulic fluid made turning the wheel way easier. Without power steering, you’d have to have some pretty strong arm muscles to turn as fast as this.

1959: Nils Bohlin invents the three-point seatbelt that would stay stationary and not move under a load.

It’s widely believed to have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and is considered to be one of the most significant innovations in automobile safety. These fellas certainly agree!

1965: The factory-installed 8-track tape player is born.

Even though it was all but dead by the '80s, the 8-track was the first step toward cassette tape players being introduced in the '70s and the start of putting your own music in your own car. Next time you reach for that aux cord, say a little prayer for its distant relative, the 8-track.

1973: A group of engineers creates the first catalytic converter, which helps to reduce tailpipe emissions. / Via

You know, emissions like the ones this guy is experiencing.

1973: The first cars with a passenger airbag are introduced and soon become standard in many popular automakers’ cars.

New Line Cinema / Via

They combine two of the best things in life: air...and bags.

1985: The first cars to have an Anti-lock Braking System fitted as standard become available. / Via

ABS shortens braking distances and helps the driver keep the car under control by keeping the wheels spinning and not locking up when braking. These folks are definitely pro-ABS.

2000: President Clinton signs a bill that enables ordinary citizens to use satellite systems for GPS.

Can you imagine a world where you have to look at a PAPER MAP to find out directions?? Ask your parents, they'll remember.

2001: Hybrid cars begin to gain popularity.

Ahh, the modern era. We all know and love our hybrids, but just a short time ago they were merely a dream.

Little by little, cars have come a long way. By combining the very best from over a century of technology, design, innovation, and pure imagination, the new Ford Focus has something everyone can love.