Do You Know the Greatest Auto Innovators in History?


Image: YouTube

About This Quiz

These are the men who changed it all! In this quiz, we'll test your knowledge of the greatest auto innovators in history. When we're done, you're going to feel a little more inspired when you take your car for a spin!

The automobile was invented in _______ ?

The automobile was invented and perfected in both Germany and France. From there, America took the reins in the first half of the 20th century.

Who innovated mass-production techniques?

Henry Ford was famous for innovating mass-production techniques that became standard. He's one of the greatest auto innovators of all time.

Where were the "Big Three" from?

The "Big Three" were dominating the auto industry by the 1920s. They were Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.

Which German innovator created a more efficient version of the four-stroke engine?

Gottlieb Daimler is known for his innovation of the four-stroke internal-combustion engine. Wilhelm Maybach assisted him with this in 1885.

Who invented the first functioning four-stroke combustion enine?

Nikolaus Otto is credited with creating the first four-stroke combustion engine. His model was later refined by other German innovators.

Who made the first long-distance trip by auto?

Bertha Benz is credited with making the first long distance automobile trip in 1888. She was the wife of Karl Benz.

The 1901 Mercedes, the first modern motorcar, was designed by who?

Wilhelm Maybach is credited for designing the 1901 Mercedes. It's widely considered the first modern motorcar.

Who designed the original Oldsmobile?

Ransom E. Olds developed the first Oldsmobile in 1901. It was a one-cylinder, three-horsepower motorized buggy.

Who is one of the great French auto innovators?

Emile Levassor is credited as one of the first French auto innovators. Levassor drove a 732-mile course, from Paris to Bordeaux and back, in just under 49 hours. He was going 15 mph, which was fast at the time!

Who founded General Motors?

William Durant was the great innovator who founded General Motors. This took place in 1908.

Who introduced the famous Model T?

Henry Ford introduced the famous Model T in 1908. He also founded Ford Motorcars.

American auto innovation was inspired by ______.

Essentially, the American auto industry had greater demand than Europe did. That's thanks to America's vast land area.

What was “the very first instance of a low-cost motorcar driven by a gas engine having cylinders enough to give the shaft a turning impulse in each shaft turn which is well built and offered in large numbers”?

This was a quote describing the 1906 Ford Model N. The car cost $600 at the time!

When did the Model T cease to be produced?

The Model T ended production in 1927. At that point, 15 million units had been sold.

Who created "planned obsolescence" at General Motors?

Alfred P. Sloan Jr. came up with the idea for "planned obsolescence" at General Motors in the 1920s and 1930s. This was in response to market saturation, and it innovated style.

Who brought the first auto factory to Detroit?

Ransom E. Olds brought the first auto factory to Detroit with his Oldsmobile cars. Detroit would later be called "Motor City."

What broke the Model T's record for the longest prodution run of any auto model?

The Volkswagen Beetle broke the Model T record in 1972. The Model T was produced for roughly 19 years.

Who developed the electric starter?

Both of these gentlemen developed the electric starter in 1911. It was made small enough to fit under the hood of the car.

Ford's moving assembly line allowed him to crank out how many cars per year?

Ford's innovative motor line allowed him to crank out thousands of cars per year. The first moving assembly line was used in 1913.

Whose car had the first all-steel body?

Dodge introduced the first all steel body on any car. This was in November of 1914. Before then, cars had mostly wooden bodies.

Who debuted the first automatic transmission?

General Motors introduced the first automatic transmission in 1939. It was called the "Hydra-Matic."

What was the first car to have A/C?

The Packard was the first car to introduce an air conditioning system. This innovation took place in 1940. By 1969, more than half the cars produced had A/C.

Who developed the technology for the electronic fuel injection?

Bosch developed the technology for the first electronic fuel injection. This arrived on the scene in 1967 in the form of the Volkswagen 1600.

In what year did government standards deem seat belts necessary?

It was in 1968 that seat belts were deemed necessary by the government. These belts were only required for the front seats, and use was optional.

When were airbags first introduced?

Airbags were first introduced in the 1970s. They didn't became widely popular in the industry until the 1990s

Who is credited with inventing the airbag?

John W. Hetrick is credited with inventing the airbag. The invention is also credited to German engineer Walter Linderer.

When did hybrid vehicles achieve commercial success?

Hybrid vehicles finally achieved commercial success in the 1990s. Hybrid technology allowed vehicles to be less dependent on gasoline.

When was the first official hybrid introduced?

The first "hybrid chaise" was actually designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, believe it or not. It debuted at the 1900 Paris World Exhibition.

What is behind Smart Car manufacturing?

Mechatronics is a culmination of many disciplines. It is the driving force behind producing Smart Cars, the greatest auto innovation of our century.

Where was the automatic transmission invented?

The automatic transmission was actually invented in Brazil by José Braz Araripe and Fernando Lehly Lemos. The technology was invented in 1932.

Who invented the Smart Car?

Nicolas Hayek is credited with inventing the first Smart Car. He was a Swiss-Lebanese entrepreneur, co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Swatch Group.

When were electric headlights invented?

Electric headlights were invented in 1898! They were introduced for the Columbia Electric Car from the Electric Vehicle Company.

What was the name of the first car horn?

The Klaxon was the name of the first effective car horn. It was invented and patented in 1908.

Who invented the car radio?

Paul Galvin is credited with perfecting the car radio. This took place in 1930, and the radio costed a whopping $130!

The first built-in GPS was offered in what make of car?

The 1995 Oldsmobile Eighty Eight offered a GuideStar, built-in GPS. It required an antenna, a computer, and a data cassette!

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes