The range of electronics available for fitting in the modern car is extraordinary. When I bought my first car in the nineteen eighties, it was considered pretty far ahead to have a multi-channel graphic equalizer either built into or in addition to your car stereo.
Some of the top of the range new cars had four or more speakers fitted as standard, but even they didn’t have alarms as standard and air conditioning, at least in the UK market, was practically unknown.
Now, almost every car you buy will have a remotely activated alarm, climate control is fitted as standard in all but the most basic or cut-price no frills vehicles.
Other features which buyers will expect to find will be power steering, often with an even lighter ‘City’ mode, if there is a sunroof then it will be powered and the idea of a convertible driver having to manually raise or lower a ragtop roof is laughable.
But it is in the cabin where the main differences are to be found. A profusion of sat-nav units mean that drivers are highly unlikely to get lost and they can get versions which will tell them if they are coming up on a speed camera and will divert them away from traffic congestion ahead so that they don’t get caught in it. Even mobile phones now have completely practical apps to do the job.
For family cars, you can get DVD players with screens to attach to the back of the headrests on the front seat. When I was a boy, my dad had one cassette which was the only electronic entertainment we had.
The only limit now on the range of toys and gadgets available to drivers is the strength of the battery to keep them all going. It’s a different world!