The Internet and the motor car - a comparative history

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The Independent Online
Motor car Internet

1885: Benz runs his first car. Mid 1960s: Internet's forerunner built by US government.

1885-1905: Cars gradually spread. Users restricted Mid 1960s-1992: Internet use grows slowly. Users to enthusiasts with gauntlets. restricted to enthusiasts with anoraks. 1908: Henry Ford produces first mass-production 1992: World Wide Web introduced with easy-to-use car, the Model T. "Ordinary people" introduced to browsers. First low-cost Internet providers set up. motoring. "Ordinary people" introduced to the Net. 1900: The car is dismissed as no rival to the horse. 1996: Sony survey says business people are unimpressed by the Net.

1903: Board of Trade holds enquiry into traffic 1996: Rising complaints about congestion and slow congestion in London. speed on the Net. 1910-1930: Top speeds steadily increase, but 1997-2000: Bandwidth and speed rapidly increase, but motoring is still largely a leisure occupation. "surfing" is still largely a leisure occupation. 1920s: The motor car becomes a commonplace tool. 2000-2010: The Internet becomes a commonplace tool. The working horse is threatened. Shops, bank branches, travel agents etc are threatened. 1930s-1960s: Road networks are upgraded to allow 2010-2020: the fibre optic "information superhighway" is continuous fast motoring. Railways are squeezed. completed. Teleworking is the norm. Cars are squeezed.