The automotive industry has always been an innovative space pushing the boundaries of design and technology. There have been some fantastic successes over the years, including Satellite Navigation Systems, Self-Parking Cars and now even Self-Driving Cars. However for every life-enhancing invention, there is also a graveyard of failed zany ideas.
This post details some of the ambitious, foolish and downright insane automotive inventions which have been attempted over the years (that never made it).
Think we’ve missed any? Let us know in the comments section below or on social media!
#10 An external ‘Dog Sack’ to transport your canine friends around.
Ever get worried about dog hairs on your back seat or in the boot compartment? Don’t have room for a pet and passengers? This ‘dog sack’ was an attempt to create a solution to these minor niggles. Just strap it onto the side of your car, pop in your pooch and hope nobody tries to overtake you too closely!
#9 A single glove to remember which side of the road to drive on.
This invention came to light via the much loved BBC TV programme ‘Dragons Den’. The inventor thought it’d be a great idea to have something to remind drivers which side of the road to drive on when in a foreign country. A noble cause indeed, but wearing a single glove on your right hand is not the solution! If you’re prepared enough to go out and buy a dedicated glove to remember to drive on the right, then you’re probably the sort of person who’d remember anyway.
#8 A steering wheel tray for eating on the go.
Ever get sick of McDonald’s drive through? Why not have a full steak dinner on the go with this portable tray which turns your steering when into a mini-table?
Besides the obvious safety concerns of such an accessory, there is also the fact that you’d need to be driving in a straight line for it to work. A single turn of the wheel would send your food and drink flying!
#7 An in-car record player.
These days when the radio isn’t playing the songs you want, you turn on the smartphone, connect via Bluetooth and away you go. However it wasn’t always that way, in the not so distant past we used to use CDs regularly… preceded by the humble cassette.
The inventor of this piece of in-car tech was determined to bring LPs to the automobile. An ambitious feat, seen as how even the smallest vibration can send the needle jumping!
However with a new resurgence in vinyl popularity we may see another brave attempt at taking this invention to market.
#6 A pedestrian collision detection system.
Now we all know that when you are driving blindly and crashing into things you need to know, was that a human I hit or not. Right?
Well that’s what the person who registered a patent for a pedestrian collision detection system seemed to think. The logic behind it is simply warped and we’re glad no manufacturers ever used this system.
#5 The in-car microwave oven.
Do you ever have a long journey on the motorway and think to yourself, I could go a baked potato whilst driving? If so then you’re the target customer for the in-car microwave. There have been several designs for this concept cooker both using a plug from the cigar lighter and built-in versions too.
No matter how you power it though, the in-car microwave seems destined to remain a blast from the past idea.
#4 An exhaust based hamburger fryer.
As if the in-car microwave wasn’t bizarre enough, this company decided that it was time to use the heat generated from exhaust fumes to cook burgers. They claim that the cooking compartment is completely separated from the main pipe making the carcinogenic fumes safe.
If you really want a burger that bad then maybe it is worth the risk, but it’s probably safer just to pull into a service station.
#3 The toilet car seat.
Speaking of service stations, we all occasionally need to pull in for a toilet break on long distance journeys. That is because we don’t have a toilet built in to our car seats of course!
The inventor of this built-in toilet bowl must have had very little manners, or simply didn’t mind filling the car with foul odours. That’s the first of the problems with this idea, never mind the hygiene issues that will inevitably follow.
#2 The nuclear powered car.
Nuclear power is an unrivaled source of energy, yet it is also extremely volatile and dangerous. Besides the complexities of car mechanics needing to understand nuclear physics, safety concerns are also a big inhibitor of using nuclear energy to power automobiles.
Ford did however create a prototype model of what a nuclear vehicle might look like with the Nucleon though.
#1 The flying car.
Undoubtedly the holy grail of the automotive innovation world is the flying car. Dreamed of by many, tried by few it is still to become a realistic form of transport for the public consumer.
There have been some attempts but all have eventually been scrapped. Perhaps one day we will be flying to work, but at the moment it’s still a dream.