A few nice annual credit score gov images I found:
2008 NASA Great Moonbuggy Race: Carleton University (2/26/09)
Image by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center
On April 3-4, 2009, NASA will sponsor its 16th annual Great Moonbuggy Race. In honor of the race, I’ll be posting some images from the past 10 races, just so you can see the incredible ingenuity of these high school and college teams.
You can learn more about the upcoming race here, via the NASA news release:
Caption for the image above:
Students representing Canada’s Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, scored a third-place win in the college division of NASA’s 2008 Great Moonbuggy Race, held April 5 at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, Ala. Carleton was one of two teams from Canadian schools to compete in the 2008 race, which saw a total of 24 teams take the field from around the nation and as far away as India.
Image Credit: NASA/MSFC
p.s. You can also join the Moonbuggy Flickr group. We’d love to have you as a member! www.flickr.com/groups/moonbuggy/
Oh the joys of the open road!
Image by brizzle born and bred
History of Motor Car / Automobile Inventions and Improvements
To us, these inventions and contributions are no longer important. We take many of them for granted.
In 1971, the Ford car company built an experimental airbag fleet. General Motors tested airbags on the 1973 model Chevrolet automobile that were only sold for government use. The 1973, Oldsmobile Toronado was the first car with a passenger air bag intended for sale to the public. General Motors later offered an option to the general public of driver side airbags in full-sized Oldsmobile’s and Buick’s in 1975 and 1976 respectively. Cadillacs were available with driver and passenger airbags options during those same years. Early airbags system had design issues resulting in fatalities caused solely by the airbags.
Airbags were offered once again as an option on the 1984 Ford Tempo automobile. By 1988, Chrysler became the first company to offer air bag restraint systems as standard equipment. In 1994, TRW began production of the first gas-inflated airbag. They are now mandatory in all cars since 1998.
The drum brake was invented in Germany by Wilhelm Maybach in 1901.
In 1902 Louis Renault (French) invented the version on which the modern drum brake is based.
Self adjusting drum brakes were invented in the 1950s.
Malcolm Loughead patented a hydraulic braking system in the USA which was first used on the 1920 Duesenberg car.
In 1949 Crosley Motors became the first American car manufacturer to fit disc brakes. In the same year Chrysler fitted a type of disc brake to their fourth generation Imperial models.
Disc brakes were developed by Dunlop in Great Britain in the early 1950s and fitted to a Jaguar C-Type racing car in 1953.
In 1954 an Austin Healey 100S became the first production car to be fitted with disc brakes on all four wheels.
Disc brakes started to replace drum brakes in the 1960s.
The first car radio was invented by Paul Gavin (American) in 1929.
The product was called “Motorola” (a moving radio).
The first cruise controls fitted to cars were based on the centrifugal governor, a technique invented in 1788 by James Watt and Matthew Boulton (British) for use on locomotives.
They were first fitted to cars sometime between 1900 and 1910.
In 1945 Ralph Teetor (American) invented the modern cruise control.
In 1958 a Chrysler Imperial became the first car to be fitted with his cruise control system.
Which car model had the first doors and an enclosed compartment and in what year? Was an enclosed compartment first fitted to protect only the passengers but not the driver? – info wanted.
In 1955 a mechanical fuel injection system was developed by Bosch in Germany. Two years later, in 1957, General Motors in the United States produced a mechanical fuel injection system.
The “Electrojector” developed by Bendix in the United States during the mid 1950s was one of the first electronic fuel injection systems. From 1957 it was offered as an option by Pontiac, De Soto, Chrysler, Dodge and Plymouth.
However, it was not reliable and was only fitted to about 35 cars.
Note: The Bendix fuel injection system was originally used on aircraft during the Korean War (1950-53).
Bosch later obtained patent rights to Bendix’s Electrojector system and during the 1960s Bosch developed their own “D-Jetronic” electronic fuel injection system.
This was first fitted to the VW Type lll in 1968. Between 1970 and 1973 the system was also used by Volvo, Saab, Renault, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.
The D-Jetronic version was last used in 1976. Bosch introduced improved versions, including the L and K-Jetronic systems.
By 1922 most cars were fitted with petrol gauges.
Speedometers became compulsory in the UK in 1937.
A speedometer is a device that measures the instantaneous speed of a land vehicle.
Now universally fitted to motor vehicles, they started to be available as options in the 1900s, and as standard equipment from about 1910 onwards.
Speedometers for other vehicles have specific names and use other means of sensing speed. For a boat, this is a pit log. For an aircraft, this is an airspeed indicator.
The speedometer was invented by the Croatian Josip Belušić in 1888, and was originally called a velocimeter.
Rev-Counter – The first mechanical tachometers were based on measuring the centrifugal force, similar to the operation of a centrifugal governor. The inventor is assumed to be the German engineer Dietrich Uhlhorn; he used it for measuring the speed of machines in 1817. Since 1840, it has been used to measure the speed of locomotives.
The disruptive discharge Tesla coil is an early predecessor of the "ignition coil" in the ignition system as was invented in 1891. Tesla also gained U.S. Patent 609,250, "Electrical Igniter for Gas Engines", on August 16, 1898. The principles of the modern ignition coil used today is based on this design. A. Atwater Kent, in 1921, patented the modern form of the ignition coil.
A distributor is a device in the ignition system of an internal combustion engine that routes high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plugs in the correct firing order. The first reliable battery operated ignition was developed by Dayton Engineering Laboratories Co. (Delco) and introduced in the 1910 Cadillac. This ignition was developed by Charles Kettering and was considered a wonder in its day.
Magneto ignition was introduced on the 1899 Daimler Phönix. This was followed by Benz, Mors, Turcat-Mery, and Nesseldorf, and soon was used on most cars up until about 1918 in both low voltage (voltage for secondary coils to fire the spark plugs) and high voltage magnetos (to fire the spark plug directly, similar to coil ignitions, introduced by Bosch in 1903)
Reversing lights were first installed in American cars in 1921.
In 1920 DuPont in the USA produced a thick pyroxylin lacquer that was quick drying, durable and could be coloured. It was originally called Viscolac®.
In cooperation with General Motors DuPont refined the product further and renamed it Duco.
Duco was first used by General Motors as a durable, quick-drying finish on its 1923 Oakland models.
It reduced paint finish time from two weeks to two days and soon became the standard finish on cars.
It remained in use until the late 1960s.
Sometime between 1920 and 1926 Francis Davis and George Jessup (Americans) invented a hydraulic power steering system.
In 1926 it was tested in a Pierce-Arrow vehicle.
The Chrysler Imperial became the first production vehicle to be fitted with a power steering system in 1951. The system was called “Hydraguide”.
The radiator was invented and patented by Karl Benz for use on his first horseless carriage in 1885. It overcame the problem of evaporation cooling, which was boiling away a gallon of water for every hour he operated his single cylinder engine.
The first honeycomb radiator was designed by Wilhelm Maybach and fitted to the 1901 Mercedes 35 hp model.
Anti freeze became available in the USA in 1905.
The Union Carbide & Carbon Corporation in the USA was the sole producer of ethylene glycol up to 1914. Initially it was used as an anti freeze.
The use of ethylene glycol as an engine coolant was first proposed in England in 1916.
A patent was granted in the USA in 1918 for the use of ethylene glycol to lower the freezing point of water in car cooling systems.
Volvo cars have long been marketed and stressed their historic reputation for solidity and reliability. Prior to strong government safety regulation Volvo had been in the forefront of safety engineering.
In 1944, laminated glass was introduced in the PV model. In 1958, Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented and patented the modern 3-Point Safety Belt, which became standard on all Volvo cars
in 1959. Volvo was the first company to produce cars with padded dashboards starting in late 1956 with their Amazon model. Additionally, Volvo developed the first rear-facing child seat in 1964 and introduced its own booster seat in 1978.
In 1986, Volvo introduced the first central high-mounted stoplight[ (a brake light not shared with the rear tail lights), which became federally mandated in the United States in the 1986 model year. Seat belt and child seat innovation continued as shown in the 1991 960.
The 960 introduced the first three-point seat belt for the middle of the rear seat and a child safety cushion integrated in the middle armrest. Also in 1991 came the introduction of the Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) on the 940/960 and 850 models, which channeled the force of a side impact away from the doors and into the safety cage.
To add to its SIPS, in 1995 Volvo was the first to introduce side airbags and installed them as standard equipment in all models in 1996. At the start of the 1995 model year, side impact protection airbags were standard on high trim-level Volvo 850s, and optional on other 850s. By the middle of the production year, they were standard on all 850s. In Model Year 1996, SIPS airbags became standard on all Volvo models.
In 1998 Volvo also developed and was the first to install a head-protecting airbag, which was made standard in all new models as well as some existing models. The head-protecting airbag was not available on the 1996 C70 due to the initial design deploying the airbag from the roof; the C70, being a convertible, could not accommodate such an airbag.
Later years of the C70 featured a head-protecting airbag deploying upwards from the door, negating the issue of roof position. It has been stated by many testing authorities that side head protecting curtain airbags can reduce risk of death in a side impact by up to 40% and brain injury by up to 55%, as well as protecting in a rollover situation.
In 1998, Volvo introduced its Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), a safety device to prevent injury of front seat users during collisions. In 2004, Volvo introduced the BLIS system, which detects vehicles entering the Volvo’s blind spot with a side view mirror mounted sensor and alerts the driver with a light.
That year also saw Volvos sold in all markets equipped with side-marker lights and daytime-running lights. Much of Volvo’s safety technology now also goes into other Ford vehicles. In 2005 Volvo presented the second generation of Volvo C70, it comes with extra stiff door-mounted inflatable side curtains (the first of its kind in a convertible).
In 2006 Volvo’s Personal Car Communicator (PCC) remote control has been launched as an optional feature with the all new Volvo S80. Before a driver gets to their car, they are able to review the security level and know whether they have set the alarm and if the car is locked.
Additionally, a heartbeat sensor warns if someone is hiding inside the car.
The all new Volvo S80 is also the first Volvo model to feature Adaptive cruise control (ACC) with Collision Warning and Brake Support (CWBS).
Since 2004 all Volvo models except for the C70 and C30 are available with an all-wheel drive system developed by Haldex Traction of Sweden.
Even though Volvo Car Corp is owned by the Ford Motor Company, the safety systems of Volvo are still made standard on all of their vehicles. Volvo has patented all of their safety innovations, including SIPS, WHIPS, ROPS, DSTC, IC, and body structures. Some of these systems have shown up in other Ford vehicles in related forms to that of Volvo systems only because Volvo has licenced the FOMOCO and other PAG members to utilize these features.
A 2005 FOLKSAM report puts the 740/940 (from 1982 on) in the 15% better than average category, the second from the top category. The Volvo 745 was also recalled due to that the front seatbelts mounts could break in a collision.
In 2005, when the American non-profit, non-governmental Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released its first annual Top Safety Picks vehicles list, none of Volvo’s offered vehicles in the U.S. were included on the list. According to Russ Rader, a spokesman for IIHS, Volvo was lagging behind its competitors. Dan Johnston, a Volvo spokesman, denied that the company’s vehicles are any less safe than the Institute’s top-rated vehicles, adding that
"It’s just a philosophy on safety that is different from building cars to pass these kinds of tests."
According to IIHS, Volvo’s S80 became one of 2009 Top Safety Picks Award winner, but Volvo’s S40 and S60 (both 2005–09 models with standard side airbags) failed to attain the highest rating in their side impact test. Volvo’s C30 is not tested by IIHS yet, but received 5 star safety in EuroNCAP.
However, according to the IIHS, in recent years Volvo Cars have still managed to maintain their high class safety ratings as seen in test results The Volvo XC90, S80 and C70 all score top scores in these rated crash tests.
In 2008 a French court found Volvo partially responsible for causing the death of two children and serious injuries of one in Wasselonne on June 17, 1999, when the brakes of a 1996 Volvo 850 failed. The court subjected Volvo to a 200,000 Euro fine.
The Amazon was noted for its safety features, with a padded dashboard, front and rear seat belts and a laminated windshield.
1944 Safety cage
1944 Laminated windscreen
1954 Defroster vents for windscreen
1956 Windscreen washers
1957 Anchor points for 2–point safety belts front
1958 Anchor points for 2–point safety belts rear
1959 3–point front safety belts standard
1960 Padded instrument panel
1964 First rearward–facing child safety seat prototype tested
1966 Crumple zones front and rear
1966 Safety door–locks
1967 Safety belt rear seats
1969 Inertia reel safety belts
1971 Reminder safety belt
1972 3–point safety belts – rear
1972 Rearward–facing child safety seat
1972 Childproof locks on rear doors
1974 Multistage impact absorbing steering column
1974 Bulb integrity sensor
1975 Braking system with stepped bore master cylinder
1978 Child safety booster cushion
1982 "Anti–submarining" protection
1986 Three–point safety belt centre rear seat
1990 Integrated child safety cushion in centre rear seat
1991 SIPS – Side Impact Protection System
1991 Automatic height adjusting safety belt
1992 Reinforced rear seats in estate models
1995 Integrated child safety cushion outer rear seats
1997 ROPS – Roll Over Protection System (C70)
1998 WHIPS – Whiplash Protection System
1998 IC – Inflatable Curtain
2001 SCC – Volvo Safety Concept Car
2002 RSC – Roll Stability Control
2003 New Front Structure called Volvo Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA, S40, V50)
2003 Rear seat belt reminders (in S40 and V50)
2003 IDIS – Intelligent Driver Information System (in S40 and V50)
2003 Inauguration of Volvo’s Traffic Accident Research Team in Bangkok
2004 BLIS – Blind Spot Information System (in S40 and V50)
2005 Introduction of DMIC (Door Mounted Inflatable Curtain, new Volvo C70)
2006 PCC – Personal Car Communicator (S80)
2006 CWBS – Collision Warning with Brake Support (S80)
2007 PPB – Power Park Brake (S80)
2007 DAC – Driver Alert Control (V70, XC70)
2009 City Safety – Automatically stop car at speeds below 19 mph (31 km/h) if obstruction is detected in front of car (XC60)
2010 Pedestrian Detection with auto brake (New S60)
The first cars were steered with a tiller.
The first car fitted with a steering wheel was a French Panhard & Levassor model in 1898.
The first American car to be fitted with a steering wheel was the second car built by Packard in 1899.
Left hand steering wheels were first fitted to American cars in about 1908.
Today, most factory sliding sunroof options feature a glass panel and are sometimes marketed as moonroofs, a term introduced in 1973 by John Atkinson, a marketing manager at Ford for the Lincoln Continental Mark IV. For the first year, Ford sent out its Mark IVs to American Sunroof Company for offline installation.
Independent front suspension was first fitted to a Lancia car in 1922.
In 1928 Cadillac/GM introduced a fully-synchronized manual transmission system called Syncro-Mesh.
In 1932 Cadillac/GM began working on a shiftless transmission system. By 1934 they had developed a step-ratio gearbox that would shift automatically under full torque.
By 1937 they had produced a semi-automatic transmission system called Automatic Safety Transmission (AST). It was fitted to Oldsmobile models from 1937 to 1939.
In 1939 GM introduced an automatic transmission system called Hydra-Matic Drive. It was first installed in a 1940 Oldsmobile model.
Some cars from the 1920s to 1950s used retractable semaphores called trafficators rather than flashing lights. They were commonly mounted high up behind the front doors and swung out horizontally. However, they were fragile and could be easily broken off and also had a tendency to stick in the closed position.
Florence Lawrence (Canadian) invented a turn indicator for cars in about 1914.
The device was called an “auto signalling arm” and it was attached to the car’s rear fender. When the driver pressed a button an electrically operated arm raised a sign to indicate the direction of the turn.
Florence Lawrence did not, however, correctly patent her invention.
In 1929 Oscar J. Simler (American) invented and patented a turn indicator.
In 1935 a company in the United States invented a flashing turn indicator.
A Buick was the first production car to be fitted with an electrical turn indicator in 1938.
Until the early 1960s, most front turn signals worldwide emitted white light and most rear turn signals emitted red. Amber front turn signals were voluntarily adopted by the auto industry in the USA for most vehicles beginning in the 1963 model year, though front turn signals were still permitted to emit white light until FMVSS 108 took effect for the 1968 model year, whereupon amber became the only permissible colour for front turn signals.
Presently, almost all countries outside North America require that all front, side and rear turn signals produce amber light. In North America the rear signals may be amber or red. International proponents of amber rear signals say they are more easily discernible as turn signals. U.S. studies in the early 1990s demonstrated improvements in the speed and accuracy of following drivers’ reaction to stop lamps when the turn signals were amber rather than red.
American regulators and other proponents of red rear turn signals have historically asserted there is no proven benefit to amber signals. However, a 2008 U.S. study by NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) suggests vehicles with amber rear signals rather than red ones are up to 28% less likely to be involved in certain kinds of collisions, and a 2009 NHTSA study determined there is a significant overall safety benefit to amber rather than red rear turn signals.
There is some evidence that turn signals with colourless clear lenses and amber bulbs may be less conspicuous in bright sunlight than those with amber lenses and colourless bulbs.
The first shatterproof safety glass was invented in France in 1909 by Triplex.
Window winders were introduced in about 1925.
Power operated car windows were fitted in the USA in 1946.
Gladstone Adams was granted a patient for windscreen wipers in Great Britain in 1911.
William Folberth was granted a patient in 1922 for the first automatic (vacuum powered) windshield wiper mechanism.
Electric windscreen wipers were introduced in 1922.
A Studebaker car was fitted with windscreen washers in 1937.
In 1940 Chrysler provided models with two-speed wipers.
Note: Headlight wipers were first introduced by Saab in 1970.
Car Accessories Timeline
The 1903 Tincher introduced the motoring public to air-boost (power) brakes. It was not an option either, but standard equipment. But then, the Tincher sold for 00 — about ten times the price of the average car of the day.
The first adjustable driver’s seat was offered in the 1914 Maxwell. The 1921 Hudson had sliding bench seats as standard equipment. Buick, in 1946, gave motorists the first optional 2-way power seat, and the 1953 Lincoln had the first optional 4-way power seat.
In 1921, an innovator by the name of Wills Sainte Claire mounted a bulb on the rear of his car and wired it to a switch on the car’s transmission, so it glowed when the car was shifted into reverse. Thus, the backup light was invented and sold as an accessory until federal law made it mandatory in the 1960s.
The 1923 Springfield sedan is credited with being the first car to offer a radio as an option. Radios did not become popular until the early ’30s, when they finally lost their reputation as a driver distraction.
The 1928 Studebaker gave us the first windshield defroster; the 1937 Studebaker, the windshield washer.
The 1939 Packard ushered in air conditioning.
The first car with an actual refrigeration system was the 1940 model year Packard.
Bendix Drive or Starter Drive
In 1910, Vincent Bendix patented the Bendix drive for electric starters, an improvement to the hand cranked starters of the time.
In 1901, British inventor Frederick William Lanchester patented disc brakes.
In 1929, American Paul Galvin, the head of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation, invented the first car radio. The first car radios were not available from carmakers. Consumers had to purchase the radios separately. Galvin coined the name "Motorola" for the company’s new products combining the idea of motion and radio.
The first crash test dummy was the Sierra Sam created in 1949.
Ralph Teetor, a prolific (and blind) inventor, invented cruise control.
In 1898, Louis Renault invented the first driveshaft.
Daimler introduced electric windows in cars in 1948.
In 1901, Frederick Simms invented the first car fender (Bumper). Similar to the railway engine buffers of the period.
The first electronic fuel injection system for cars was invented in 1966 in Britain.
The numerous processes and agents needed to improve the quality of gasoline (Petrol) making it a better commodity.
Canadian Thomas Ahearn invented the first electric car heater in 1890.
Charles Kettering was the inventor of the first electrical starter motor ignition system.
On April 25, 1901 the state of New York became the first state to require car license plates by law. The very first license plates were called number plates – first issued in 1893 in France by the police.
Oliver Lodge invented the electric spark ignition (the Lodge Igniter) for the internal combustion engine.
The first U.S. patent for automobile seat beats was issued to Edward J. Claghorn of New York, New York on February 10, 1885.
Ferdinand Porsche invented the first supercharged Mercedes-Benz SS & SSK sports cars in Stuttgart, Germany in 1923.
In 1974, psychologist John Voevodsky invented the third brake light, a brake light that is mounted in the base of rear windshields. When drivers press their brakes, a triangle of light will warn following drivers to slow down.
Charles Goodyear invented vulcanized rubber in 1844 that was later used for the first tires
In 1832, W. H. James invented a rudimentary three-speed transmission. Panhard and Levassor are credited with the invention of the modern transmission – installed in their 1895 Panhard. On April 28, 1908, Leonard Dyer obtained one of the earliest patents for an automobile transmission.
Buick introduced the first electric turn signals in 1938.
Francis W. Davis invented power steering. In the 1920s, Davis was the chief engineer of the truck division of the Pierce Arrow Motor Car Company, and he saw first hand how hard it was to steer heavy vehicles. Davis quit his job and rented a small engineering shop in Waltham, MA. He developed a hydraulic power steering system that led to power steering. Power steering became commercially available by 1951.
Prior to the manufacture of Henry Ford’s Model A, Mary Anderson was granted her first patent for a window cleaning device in November of 1903.