Anti-lock braking systems were first developed for aircraft. An early system
was Dunlop's Maxaret system, introduced in the 1950s and still in use on
some aircraft models. This was a fully mechanical system. It saw limited
automobile use in the 1960s in the Ferguson P99 racing car, the Jensen FF
and the experimental all wheel drive Ford Zodiac, but saw no further use;
the system proved expensive and, in automobile use, somewhat unreliable. The
first car (worldwide) to have ABS fitted as standard (across the entire
range) was the Ford Granada Mk 3 (of 1985).
The German firm Bosch had been developing anti-lock braking technology since
the 1930s, but the first production cars using Bosch's electronic system
became available in 1978. They first appeared in trucks and the
Mercedes-Benz S-Class. ABS Systems were later introduced on motorcycles
"For 1971, only the LeBaron appeared, again in two and four
door hardtops. The Six-Passenger Four-Door Hardtop went to
10,116 ($6,276) customers while 1,442 chose the Six-Passenger
Two-Door Hardtop ($6,044), totaling 11,558. Weights ranged
from 4,705 to 4,855 pounds riding on L 78 X 15 tires.
Imperial had a first in the form of an optional four-wheel
anti-skid braking system ("Sure-Brake" by Bendix at $250 or
$351.50; sources differ). A sensor at each wheel, an
electronic controller, and three vacuum modulators detected
impending wheel lockup and pulsed hydraulic pressure to the
Years ahead of the industry, the system featured an automatic
functional check when the engine was fired, plus instrument
panel lights to announce that the system was operational or
that there was a problem."
But for production passenger cars, Chrysler was offering one in 1971
through at least 1973. That beats your claim of the Ford Granada in
First recorded traffic fatality. H.H. Bliss is hit and killed by a horseless
carriage in New York City.
Oldsmobiles are the first to feature speedometers.
First stop sign to control traffic is installed in Detroit.
First three color stop light is installed in Detroit.
First car with safety glass windows as standard equipment is offered by
Delco-Remy produces the first electric windshield wiper so that wiper speed
could be maintained regardless of engine speed.
The industry's first electric turn signals developed by GM's guide lamp
division (introduced on the market by Buick).
Buick is first to offer front/rear directional signaling with self-canceling
Chrysler introduces four-wheel disc brakes.
Nash-Kelvinator introduces the Rambler, the first car to offer seat belts.
Mercedes-Benz patents "crumple zone" concept to protect vehicle occupants.
Minnesota passes first law requiring brake fluid to meet minimum SAE
Safety padding on dash board offered by several vehicle manufacturers.
Over 1,000,000 traffic-related deaths have occurred since invention of the
Safety door latches to help prevent doors from being forced open in
collisions are made standard equipment on nearly all cars.
Michican is first state to require a course in driver education before
issuing a drivers license to persons under 18 years of age.
First year that General Motors, Ford & Chrysler offer seat belts as optional
Ford introduces recessed hub steering wheel.
Volvo first manufacturer to include front seat lap-shoulder belts as
Cadillac and American Motors are first to offer the dual master cylinder as
standard equipment. It provides braking on at least two wheels should a
malfunction occur to one part of the brake system.
New York first state to enact law requiring front seat belts in cars (to be
effective 1965 model year).
The four major U.S. auto manufacturers install two front-seat lap belts as
The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act authorized the federal
government to set vehicle safety standards and provide for a national
highway safety program. The first of many Federal Motor Vehicle Safety
Standards (FMVSS) become effective in 1967.
Volvo offers childproof rear door locks, rear window defroster, roll-over
bar in roof.
Ralph Nader publishes "Unsafe At Any Speed" . Book criticizes vehicle
manufacturers for not showing greater responsibility towards safety. Starts
consumer safety movement.
Volvo offers three-point seat belts in rear outboard seats.
Energy-absorbing steering column introduced by General Motors.
Volvo vehicles equipped with head restraints.
Federal law requires front seat belts for all passenger cars.
Federal law also establishes various crashworthiness standards to protect
Head restraints required in U.S.
Chrysler introduces a brake-slip control system, (an early version of
Federal law requires front bumpers meet 5 mph crash standard (later reduced
to 2.5 mph in 1982).
Side impact standards required for all new cars.
Federal law requires three-point lap-shoulder belts with inertia reels.
General Motors produces the first airbags.
Federal law requires all vehicles to have seat belt interlock system that
prevents engine from starting unless driver and passengers are buckled up
(later repealed by Congress in response to public outcry over
Tennessee is the first jurisdiction in the world to pass a child passenger
First U.S. seat belt use law is enacted in New York.
Antilock brakes standard on S-Class Mercedes models and offered standard or
optional on about 30 domestic and foreign car models during the 1987 model
Every state has passed legislation requiring the use of child safety seats.
High mounted center stop light required for all passenger cars.
Mercedes-Benz installs airags on U.S. models.
Ford and Lincoln offer optional air bags.
GM is the first domestic manufacturer to announce that rear seat
lap/shoulder safety belts will begin replacing lap safety belts as standard
equipment, with the phase-in to take place over the following three years.
Chrysler becomes first American automaker to offer airbags as standard
Passive restraints required for all new cars. Vehicle manufacturers meet
standard by either offering driver side air bag or automatic seat-lap belts.
First head-on collision occurs between two airbag-equipped cars (Chrysler
LeBarons) in Culpepper, VA. Both drivers walked away.
Volvo introduces side impact protection system.
All Cadillacs come standard with anti-lock brakes, making Cadillac the
largest automaker to do so. GM offered anti-lock brakes and traction control
on more models than any other manufacturer in the world.
Chrysler offers integrated child safety seats in its minivan line.
Volvo introduces side impact protection airbag.
Although available and mandated for years in Canada and Scandinavia, daytime
running lights start to be offered on some new vehicles in the U.S.
All states but one have mandatory seat belt use laws.
Breed Technology introduces first aftermarket airbag that can be installed
on 1987-1994 vehicles that were not factory-equipped with an airbag. Air bag
is for drivers side only.
Dual airbags are standard equipment for all passenger cars.
GM installs less aggressive "next generation" air bags on Pontiac cars and
GMC pickups and SUVs. Bags deploy with less force to protect children and
BMW introduces new inflatable tubular "Head Protection System" to protect
occupants in side collisions.
Side airbags offered by Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Jaguar,
Mazda, Mercedes, Nissan, Porsche, Saab, Volvo and Volkswagen some or all of
their 2000 models.
SmartBelt T systems seatbelt that think like airbags, are introduced by The
I think you'll find that the Lincoln Mark III's (1969) had antilock on the
rear only. It was optional in 69 and 70 and standard equipment in 71. The
old GM shop manuals covered it for about a 1970 model (roughly) but you can
never be sure from manuals whether any cars were actually built. The Mark
III's were very popular and they all had it by 71.
I noticed that the wikipedia article on antilock brakes tells a very
different story, but that seems to be because it is speaking only from the
It became available in 71 with the Imprial. I drove one (new btw) and tried
it in winter. Way cool than but quite primitive by today. IT pulsed VERY
slowly with greaty heaving and shuddering in the car and pedal. THe
controller was enourmouns took up most of the trunk (which was mafia sized)
(meaning it could hold quite a few stiffs) ;-) It was also very trouble
I believe the literature we had in our shop said it the FIRST PRODUCTION
vehicle with this feature. The rest of youcan fight over it ;-) I just had
hands on knowledge of it.
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