Automakers are constantly pushing forward with different new safety technologies that are supposed to save our lives. Sometimes, they don’t catch on.

10.) Rocket Brakes


Now, this might sound like a completely awesome idea, and maybe it was, but I’m not so sure it was economical enough to widely implement in consumer road cars. Could you imagine how much it must’ve cost just to test this technology back in the day? And let’s not talk about the added fire risk this would have created.

Suggested By: burglar can’t heart click anything, Photo Credit: Modern Mechanix

9.) Volvo’s Heartbeat Sensor

Volvo’s Heartbeat Sensor was nothing short of weird. This technology allowed for the holder of the vehicle’s key fob to detect whether that was a human inside the car, when in-range of the fob’s detection area. That’s just weird.

Suggested By: Captain Pedantic, AWAY!

8.) Pedestrian Airbags


Another safety engineer feat spearheaded by Volvo, the automotive safety freaks of the world, with the torch now being carried by Land Rover with the 2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport. My colleague Andrew Collins explains the system quite well:

Activates within 60 milliseconds of the front bumper’s pressure tube sensing a person, as long as the SUV’s moving between 15 and 30 MPH. The air bag pops out right ahead of where the windshield meets the hood and keeps a low profile, so you can see out as you move on to your next victim.


Suggested By: POD, Photo Credit: Land Rover via Truck Yeah/Jalopnik

7.) Headlight Wipers


Aside from when they would break, I always thought headlight wipers were an extremely useful and interesting technological marvel.

Don’t fret! The concept still lives on, on many European cars equipped with washer fluid jets aimed at the headlights, which spray fluid on a time interval.


Suggested By: Jcarr, Photo Credit: Steve Lyon via Flickr

6.) Curb Feelers


Living in New York City, I see tons of cars with curb rash. Hell, I’m probably guilty of it myself. If automakers could fit this dated technology to current roadcars, that would be great.

Or maybe, ya know, maybe we could just use our mirrors.

Suggested By: TavshedFjols, Photo Credit: Yesteryear Remembered

5.) Built-In Booster Seats


First used by Chrysler in the early ‘90s, then recently revived by Volvo. Unfortunately, the useage of this convenient child safety feature for parents has not grown much beyond that.

Suggested By: g101010101, Photo Credit: Volvo

4.) Water-Filled Bumper


Before the days of modern crumple-zones, many public buses were equipped with bumpers that were filled with water and designed to explode upward to diffuse kinetic energy in the event of a motor vehicle accident. The only remnants of this technology today are the water-filled, energy absorbing crash attenuators.

Suggested By: west-coaster, Photo Credit: SF MTA

3.) Seat Belt Interlock


Seat Belt Interlock was completely annoying. There is no question as to why it had not caught on. Could you imagine being a parking attendant, having to move cars around, and having to deal with this all day? Not to mention how unreliable it was, which meant cars not even being able to start because the system wouldn’t detect the seatbelt.

Suggested By: As Du Volant , Photo Credit: Aaron Brown

2.) Pedestrian Cow Catcher


This is like concept is like the pedestrian airbag’s grandfather. In order to limit the climbing number of pedestrian-automobile injuries and fatalities, the O’Leary Fender Company felt it would logical to strap a mesh plow, sort of device, onto the front of cars. This device would be used to scoop up and collect pedestrians, rather than have them roll under the automobile’s front wheels.

Suggested By: $kaycog, Photo Credit:

1.) Tucker Safety Windshield


Equipped on the Tucker 48, this technology was designed so that vehicle occupants that may have been ejected in the event of a crash would not be subject to smashing their faces through the glass windshield. The glass was shatterproof and would simply pop out. Great thinking!

Suggested By: McMike, Photo Credit: 55truck

Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!


Top Photo Credit: Andrew Liszewski/Gizmodo


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