A History of General Motors Innovations Throughout the Years

You take a lot of the basic features in your car for granted. But at some point in history, that feature didn’t exist, and someone invented it. Many of these essential vehicle features came from General Motors. These are some of the General Motors innovations that changed the industry forever.

Automatic transmission

The first automatic transmission, called the Hydra-Matic, made its debut on the 1940 Oldsmobile. Today, nearly every car sold is equipped with an automatic transmission.

Air bags

General Motors was the first company to use air bags commercially in the 1970s (under the name “air cushion restraint system”) in the Buick and Oldsmobile brands. Today, air bags in cars are as necessary as steering wheels, and have saved countless lives.

Catalytic converter

A catalytic converter helps control the amount of toxic gases emitted by your car. General Motors started developing the converter in the 1960s and implemented the first units for the 1975 model year.

OnStar®

The now-beloved OnStar® system made its first appearance in 1996. It was the first type of in-car communication system and was used to offer drivers’ assistance long before cell phones became massively popular. More than 7 million drivers continue to use OnStar® today for help with emergency services, diagnostics, and even Wi-Fi.

While the industry continues to see new technology created on a regular basis, the early innovations of General Motors reminds us that sometimes, the best things never change. Visit Jim Causley GMC today for a look at the latest innovations from GM.

Please follow and like us: