Aaron profile picture Aaron 4 years ago
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7 Times James Bond Films Predicted Future Car Technologies #blogpost

Note the studded tyres and Head-Up Display.
Note the studded tyres and Head-Up Display.

You don’t typically think about Bond using his in-car gadgets for safety use or autonomous driving, do you? Whatever 007 has up his sleeves, we all want in our cars. It’s as simple as that.

However, after some thought: I’ve realised that some of the tech we take for granted in cars these days was invented years ago… sort of.

Nonetheless, without you even noticing, here’s 6 examples of gadgets used by 007 that predicted what was to come in cars decades later.

1. Goldfinger (1964)- Satellite Navigation

Very cool stuff by Q.
Very cool stuff by Q.

Okay, technically speaking, it’s a tracking system in which 007 uses to trace Goldfinger’s golden Rolls - in which he stuck a magnetic tracking device to.

Yet despite the fact you can’t type in a destination of some sort, the principals of a modern sat-nav are pretty much the same. A map shows on the screen, and you simply follow whichever point you intended. (Only in Bond’s case, the point is moving…)

Nonetheless, quite by accident, the makers of Bond predicted a radical automotive feature 40 years early!

Great film. And great car!
Great film. And great car!

2. You Only Live Twice (1967)- Bluetooth

Sorry for the bad quality picture.
Sorry for the bad quality picture.

Yeah, once again, this isn’t EXACTLY a prediction for hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, but let’s think about the function of this gadget on Aki’s 2000GT.

The idea of it was simple, it meant Bond and Aki could call up Tiger (boss of Japanese intelligence) without having to pick up a phone. This meant whoever was driving could keep their eyes on the road at all times, yet speak during a call.

Now I don’t know about you, but that screams out Bluetooth. Once again, 40 years early, Pinewood Studios accidentally kick-started a revolution.

Pretty car.  Only 2 remain in existence. One at the Toyota museum, the other in a private collection.
Pretty car. Only 2 remain in existence. One at the Toyota museum, the other in a private collection.

3. The Living Daylights (1987)- Head-Up Display

This was the coolest function for it though XD
This was the coolest function for it though XD

Granted, it would be fairly risky if production cars with missile launchers were everywhere on the roads, but explody things aside, this bit of tech by Q was very radical!

No car from the 1980s could display information on the windscreen, this hadn’t even been established until far after this film came out.

And even today, we use Head Up Displays to check our tyre pressures and speed. And notice how on the picture the display says the car is travelling at 69mph! This was 1987, and 007 could digitally check his speed.

That’s what I call a prediction!

4. The Living Daylights (again)- Traction Control

These days, it's definitely not as crude as this.
These days, it's definitely not as crude as this.

Let’s put things into perspective: cars these days use Traction Control to eliminate skidding and wheel-spin on extremely slippery conditions. And whilst 007’s Aston V8 didn’t have computerised tech to deal with things like the diff or engine power, he was able to get additional grip.

Yes, absurdly sharp spikes shooting out of the tyres probably isn’t a great idea for road driving, but on snow and ice, it kept the massively powerful car in a straight line.

It may have not been exactly copied for production, but these spikes are technically made to provide traction.

Possibly my favourite Bond car - I prefer it to the DB5.
Possibly my favourite Bond car - I prefer it to the DB5.

5. Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)- controls via mobile phone

Not even today, is this technology that advanced.
Not even today, is this technology that advanced.

You may have seen that in the Tesla Model 3 that you can control functions of the car by using your smartphone. The technology itself still has a long way to go, but it’s pretty cool.

But Bond already had that kind of thing 21 years ago. In the form of an E38 BMW 750IL.

The chase itself became notable because 007 drove the car throughout the explosive chase… by using his phone.

But it wasn’t just the driving that phone could do, he was also able to operate the various gadgets designed to cause mass destruction to a Hamburg multi storey car park.

You can use your phone these days to operate some cars’ features too, such as the air con or the heater, you could even start the engine. Quite scary when you think Bond had it before we did.

Great scene. Even if the rest of the film was a bit lacklustre.
Great scene. Even if the rest of the film was a bit lacklustre.

6. The World Is Not Enough (1999)- moving the car via the key

Possibly the most realistic of predictions.
Possibly the most realistic of predictions.

Once again, Bond predicted the use of a key fob being able to move a car out of its parking spot. And it’s quite fascinating!

The new range of BMWs allows you to use the key fob to start the car, and move it out of the spot it’s parked in - meaning your life is easier when you hop inside.

Well, 007 had that covered in the year I was born in!

It may not have been a key fob, but Bond used his key to move his Z8 from its parked position (several yards away) and simply ran up and got in it. Ironic how this feature is on a BMW…

7. Die Another Day (2002)- Thermal Imaging Camera

For once, Bond didn't have all the luxuries.
For once, Bond didn't have all the luxuries.

Die Another Day was the time when Bond didn’t have any predicted car technologies, but Zao, a North Korean madman, did in his heavily modified Jag XKR.

The idea was, Bond’s Aston Martin Vanquish was invisible and Zao simply used the thermal imaging camera to track where the car was. Clever thinking for 2002!

These days however, thermal imagery is used on top end luxury limousines to prevent the car (or driver) from hitting pedestrians or foxes at night. So, that’s a very advanced bit of kit which would go on to become incredibly important for nighttime driving.

And there we are, 7 gadgets used in Bond films which predicted future car technologies. So, what can we learn from the most recent Bond film?

Badass.
Badass.

Perhaps Tailgater Repellent In The Future??

Pretty cool idea, if it weren't to consist in flames.
Pretty cool idea, if it weren't to consist in flames.

In Spectre (2015), we see that Bond’s DB10 uses flames to try and repel against the perusing Jaguar CX75 chasing him. And even though this seems mad, could we see tailgater repellent in the future?

I don’t know exactly how it could work, but if it arrives in 20 years time, thank those who make gadgets for Bond cars ;)

If I missed anything out, let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.