If you want to judge carmakers by their past achievements and how consistently they brought innovations to the forefront of the automotive industry, then you could say we owe quite a lot to Mercedes-Benz.
In this video brought to us by YouTube channel Veratasium, we not only get to “take a ride” in what’s widely regarded as the world’s first automobile, but also explore some of the safety features Mercedes invented throughout its history.
But first, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. What you see here is actually a replica of that very first car propelled by an internal combustion engine, which was built originally in 1885.
Apparently, riding in one (or on one, you could say), feels surprisingly fast, even though the car only tops out at 16 km/h (10 mph). Yet 16 years after the Motorwagen was launched, the automaker introduced cars that could do 80 km/h (50 mph), and in 1928 you could already hit 192 km/h (119 mph) in a Mercedes-Benz – faster than lots of entry-level budget cars being built today.
Fast forward a few decades, and you have Mercedes inventing all sorts of passive and active safety systems – things we get to take for granted today, such as ABS, crumple zones and airbags, which make cars much safer.
Since then, Mercedes have gone on to build some of the safest cars on the road, though in today’s modern world, they’re pretty much neck and neck with rivals such as BMW or Audi. Still, being first at inventing something definitely deserves recognition.