Incredible innovations that changed the auto industry forever

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(CNN)In a world where new, clever ways of using tech and the cloud are being unveiled on an almost daily basis, the speed of progress on the automobile can look a bit glacial by comparison.

In the most basic terms, the cars being sold today are similar to those introduced at the start of the 20th century: a combustion engine driving the wheels through some sort of gearbox, with steering controlled by a wheel at the front of the cabin.
    Searching back through history reveals, however, that while many of the car industry’s ideas are not new at all, it has taken quite a bit of ingenuity to turn them into something people are willing to pay money for.


    She innovated en route, in fact, by getting a shoemaker to nail leather onto the brake blocks and invented brake linings as a result.
    Even then, Benz’s creation was made in tiny numbers. Once more, it took another man, Henry Ford, to work out how cars could be mass-produced.
    His assembly line technique allowed cars to be build in an eighth of the time required previously — so they could be made more affordable, as well.
    By the time the factory in Dearborn, Michigan had knocked out its 10 millionth example in 1924, half of the cars on the planet were Model Ts.
    Proof positive that innovation is all well and good, but a subtle improvement to a good idea can make all the difference.

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