That Beeping Sound You Hear Is The Future

Today's modern automobile often comes with high-tech crash-avoidance systems. Parallel parking is a breeze when your car beeps to let you know when you're about to hit something. The people of yesteryear couldn't have imagined something like that, right? Think again.

In today's edition of There's Nothing New Under the Sun, we have a Jazz Age invention that was going to make car crashes a thing of the past. Getting too close to another car would set off the car's horn.

From the August 1927 issue of Science and Invention magazine:

The motorists of the future instead of operating the horns on their automobiles as done now will commission radio to perform this function automatically. A recent patent issued to Harry Flurscheim, of Paris, France, provides for a radio warning system to be used on vehicles. The body of the car prevents the reception of waves from the rear and also prevents radiation of waves to the rear. The apparatus for the emission and reception of the signals is mounted in a suitable box placed on the front of the radiator of the usual type of vehicle.

The only problem with this system? It seems like you'd have to be driving pretty slow for it to be of any use. But this is yet another example of futurist thinkers being way ahead of their time, even if they didn't have the technology to perfect the concept in 1927. Still, it's always nice to see the futurists of the past get one right for a change. It gives us hope that there may be hoverboards yet. Or maybe not.


Image: Scanned from the August 1927 issue of Science and Invention magazine