Introduction The first automobiles saw the light of day around the turn of the last century. When Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1908, the epitome of mass-produced automobiles, no one could have imagined what automobiles would look like almost 100 years later, or even how they would evolve technically. Back then, a car was no more than a carriage without horses and had virtually none of the features we take for granted today. The first car radio was also marveled at in a Model T, in 1922. Ten years later, the first European car radio was presented at the Berlin Consumer Electronics Fair. The Blaupunkt AS5, a tube device with remote control on the steering column. It was not until 1949 that the receiver was integrated into the dashboard and in 1953 the "Mexico" model was introduced The first automatic station search system was launched by Becker. In 1957, transistors partially made their way into radio receivers. A year later, Philips presented a record player for the car. The first fully transistorized car radio with FM was also developed by Philips in 1961, as well as the cassette (1968) and the CD (1983). After a nine-year development phase, the first satellite navigation system, CarIN (Car Information and Navigation System), was offered for sale by Philips in 1993. This laid the foundation for today's multimedia infotainment systems.
Around the same time as the introduction of Ford's Model T, an anti-skid controller for rail vehicles was introduced in Great Britain; the predecessor of today's ABS. However, this regulator failed due to the systems, whose technology still worked much too slowly. Only at the beginning of the 60's it became possible with the help of the semiconductor components to develop systems, which could master the data quantities in acceptable time. The speed of each wheel must be compared with that of every other wheel. Since 1964, the company Teldix GmbH in Heidelberg has been dealing with this problem, but came to the conclusion that for the time being, the technical effort would only be financially worthwhile in express trains or airplanes. With the advent of the first integrated circuits (IC), also in 1964, prototypes were used to reduce braking distances for the first time. In 1970, the test vehicles still had about 1000 components, which meant that the potential sources of error were still very high. Bosch, which is still the market leader in ABS systems today, bought into Teldix in 1973 and the development of ABS was completely handed over to Bosch in 1975. In 1978, the first ABS suitable for large-scale production was introduced in the Mercedes S-Class. At this point, it already contained only 140 components. Within only 2 years 24000 units of the ABS were sold and it was further developed. In 1980 came the traction control system (ASR), which used the data from the ABS for its own purposes, but did not go into series production until 1986. Probably the most important step in improving driving safety was taken in 1995 with the introduction of ESP, which can now be found in almost every new car. In 2003, Bosch produced its 100 millionth ABS. Its 10 millionth ESP sold.
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The main task of modern information technology in motor vehicles is to improve safety. Whether it is active or passive safety, no car with today's safety standards can do without electronic helpers. As far as active safety is concerned, the ESP, for example, intervenes directly in the braking process and evaluates the data from sensors at lightning speed, which indicate possible yaw (turning on its own axis). A high-performance control unit evaluates this data in order to brake individual wheels in a controlled manner. When it comes to passive safety, the airbag immediately comes to mind, which has probably saved a great many lives for more than 10 years now. But even in this direction, research is continuing into the "Pre Safe" system a system from DaimlerChrysler that demonstrates. If the driver suddenly takes his foot off the gas and hits the brakes, the seat belts are tightened and the seats are moved into an upright position to reduce the risk of injury. In the event of an imminent rollover, the even sunroof closes. To make driving over longer distances on freeways more pleasant, there have long been cruise control systems where you can set the desired speed, which is then automatically maintained. Even uphill, the cruise control accelerates and brakes downhill, but with a vehicle in front slower than you, you still had to brake manually to keep the safe distance. The remedy for using the computer here is called Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), a kind of autopilot. It detects an object in front of the vehicle by radar. From these data the distance. The current speed is determined. The system can catch up with the vehicle in front up to a desired distance, accelerate independently and also decelerate up to 20% of the maximum braking power. If more than this is needed, the system sounds an acoustic warning and the driver has to intervene himself. The ACC can also be used as a parking aid in the immediate vicinity of the car, but this has also been available for some time in the form of Park Distance Control (PDC). This autopilot is also an important component of the latest drowsiness warning systems. If you are driving without cruise control and an obstacle is approaching that is up to 150 meters away, the driver is warned acoustically or visually. However, collision warning is by no means the only function of this drowsiness warning system. Another is called Laneguard, which means lane guard. If the driver is simply inattentive or even falls into the infamous microsleep and leaves his lane without first setting his blinker, he is immediately alerted to this fact. The classic principle for detecting microsleep still exists, of course: a camera that films the eyelids and the gaze behavior and uses a computer to detect how alert the driver still is. If the drowsiness warning system comes to the conclusion via its systems that it is in the interests of road safety not to allow the driver to continue driving, the driver is advised acoustically and visually to take a break. The first displays in a car were probably the ones in the radio or the LCD for the odometer. These undoubtedly exist today as well, but a few have been added to them. A multifunction display has been introduced between the speedometer and tachometer, where information from the on-board computer or navigation system is displayed. In the center console, meanwhile, a 5.8-inch TFT display is used for infotainment purposes. The latest achievement in the automobile, however, is the so-called Head Up Display (HUD). This technology originates from aircraft construction, where it has been used for decades.