June 8, 2023
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10 Eccentric Car Innovations That Mercifully Fizzled Out

Throughout history, the automotive industry has witnessed numerous innovative ideas, some of which have revolutionized the way we drive. However, not every idea can be a winner. In this article, we explore ten bizarre car innovations that, although ambitious in their conception, ultimately failed to capture the imagination of consumers. Let’s take a look at these peculiar ideas that fortunately never made it into mainstream production.

  1. The In-Car Microwave: Imagine being able to heat up your meals while driving. Sounds convenient, right? Well, not exactly. The in-car microwave was an ambitious concept that aimed to bring the convenience of cooking into the vehicle. However, safety concerns, including the potential for accidents caused by distractions, quickly quashed this impractical and dangerous idea.
  2. The Centralized Steering Wheel: Some inventors proposed the idea of a centralized steering wheel, positioned in the center of the dashboard rather than the traditional left or right side. While it may have seemed innovative, this idea failed to gain traction due to the fundamental ergonomic issues it posed. It would have required drivers to drastically change their driving habits and could have potentially caused confusion and accidents on the road.
  3. The Roof-Mounted Periscope: To counter blind spots caused by large SUVs and vans, an inventor came up with the idea of a roof-mounted periscope. This peculiar contraption aimed to provide a better view of the surroundings, eliminating the need for side mirrors. However, the periscope design proved to be impractical and cumbersome, obstructing the driver’s vision and introducing unnecessary complexity.
  4. The Inflatable Car: Yes, you read that correctly—an inflatable car. The concept of an inflatable vehicle emerged as an attempt to create a lightweight, collapsible car for easy storage and transportation. While it might have seemed like a fascinating idea, the safety risks associated with the inflatable structure and the potential for punctures and leaks made this concept highly impractical and unreliable.
  5. The Swiveling Seats: Swiveling seats were designed to offer increased convenience and comfort by allowing passengers to face each other while the car was in motion. This innovation, however, failed to gain popularity due to safety concerns and the potential for distraction, particularly for the driver.
  6. The Steering Wheel Joystick: Replacing the traditional steering wheel with a joystick-like control was a concept that aimed to offer a futuristic driving experience. However, the lack of familiarity and muscle memory associated with steering wheels, combined with the increased potential for imprecise control, ultimately led to the abandonment of this peculiar idea.
  7. The Windshield Display: Some inventors attempted to integrate a heads-up display directly onto the windshield, projecting essential information such as speed and navigation directions. While the concept had potential, the practical challenges of implementing such technology, including visibility issues, distraction, and the high cost of production, prevented it from becoming a mainstream feature.
  8. The Exhaust Pipe Whistle: Attempting to add a touch of novelty to cars, the exhaust pipe whistle was designed to produce a musical sound as the vehicle moved. However, this idea quickly fell out of favor due to its annoying nature, noise pollution concerns, and potential for distracting other drivers on the road.
  9. The Pedestrian Horn: To alert pedestrians of an approaching vehicle, an inventor proposed the idea of a pedestrian horn that emitted a loud sound specifically aimed at foot traffic. While safety is a paramount concern on the roads, this concept failed to gain traction as it added unnecessary noise pollution and potential confusion for pedestrians.
  10. The Car With Built-In Shower: For those who wanted to combine their daily commute with personal hygiene, the car with a built-in shower seemed like a novel concept. However, practical considerations such as water supply, drainage, and the potential for mold and mildew accumulation quickly overshadowed the appeal of this unusual innovation. The concept of showering while driving was deemed unsafe and unfeasible, leading to its ultimate failure.

Conclusion: While the automotive industry is known for its groundbreaking innovations, not every idea that emerges manages to capture the interest of consumers. The ten bizarre car innovations discussed in this article, including the in-car microwave, centralized steering wheel, and inflatable car, thankfully failed to gain traction due to safety concerns, impracticality, or their potential to create unnecessary distractions. It is through these failures that we learn valuable lessons, refining and shaping the future of automotive design and technology to ensure safer, more efficient, and more enjoyable driving experiences for all.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright


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