Talking Technology

Through the years, cars have evolved so much that certain parts once integral to their operation have now become obsolete.

Only time will tell which components and features of today’s cars will disappear in the future. However, present drivers can reminisce about how cars have evolved even in the last 20 to 30 years. The following are some once-standard parts and features that have all but disappeared from modern vehicles.

• Ashtrays and cigarette lighters: Smoking-related accessories began to vanish as the dangers of smoking became more apparent. Ashtrays in the dashboard and in the rear armrests are no longer standard.

• Full-sized spare tire: The “doughnuts” of today can be driven on for only limited distances and look awkward on larger vehicles. The full-sized spare enabled drivers to repair the flat tire on their own schedules.

• Control knobs: Push buttons and digital dashes have replaced the manual knobs of the past. Levers often enabled drivers to adjust the heat without taking their eyes off the road.

• Bench seats: Front bench seats have given way to two seats separated by a center console. No longer is it possible to fit three or four people in the front of a vehicle.

• Whip antenna: Remember those thin, flexible antennas? Many modern vehicles feature more solid antennas that can be unscrewed for trips through the carwash or an antenna that is modeled into the car in an inconspicuous way. If drivers exhibit a preference for satellite radio in the years ahead, traditional antennas may soon become obsolete as well

While those old items may have gone the way of the dodo, the cars of today are constantly being updated with new and exciting technology.

Take, for instance, the Ford family of cars available at Rusty Wallace Ford in Dandridge. Ford’s line-up of automobiles comes with a bevy of bells and whistles that are more than simply showy gadgets. From the lane-keeping system that helps prevent drivers from drifting on long journeys, to Sync 3, Ford’s easy-to-use, responsive voice-activated technology, Ford’s technology makes the driving experience better, safer and more satisfying.

The latest Ford Tech isn’t even in your car.

The FordPass App offers a one-stop interface that helps drivers find parking, compare fuel station prices along your route, receive key vehicle info and schedule service all from your smart phone, which is available in the App Store or on Google Play.

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