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 Innovation Overview

Walter P. Chrysler built the​ company on strong engineering and a design reputation that is unequalled in the industry, even to this day. Many of the company’s engineering breakthroughs are now standard equipment on major manufacturer vehicles around the world. 

Learn about our legacy of innovation. See how we continually reimagine our design and engineering “firsts” and send our competition back to the drawing board.


From the introduction of the first safety rim wheels in 1941, to being the first automotive company to make airbags standard in 1988, safety has long been first priority for Chrysler Group brands. Today, our approach to safety and security is still leading the way, with collision avoidance technologies like our Blind Spot Monitoring System, and protection features like our Electronic Stability Control. In fact, in 2011, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded 11 Chrysler Group vehicles with the Top Safety Pick Award, including the Chrysler Town & Country, Chrysler 300, Chrysler 200, Dodge Grand Caravan, Dodge Charger, Dodge Avenger, Dodge Journey, Dodge Durango, FIAT 500, Jeep Grand Cherokee® and Jeep Patriot.

A Heritage of Innovation and Engineering Firsts

All automobile ma​​nufacturers build vehicles, but Chrysler Group LLC creates entirely new automotive categories. Our leadership and innovation earned us the label of Detroit’s “engineering company.” Our innovation has stretched from pioneering automotive wind tunnel development with Orville Wright1 to ushering in the era of modern automotive aerodynamic design.


Here are o​ur proud “firsts”:

  • Automatic overdrive: 1934
  • Power-assisted convertible tops: 1939
  • Safety rim wheels: 1941
  • All steel body station wagon: 1946
  • Key operated combination ignition and starter: 1949
  • Power windows: 1950
  • Power steering: 1951
  • Cruise control: 1958
  • Alternator: 1960
  • Mating of four-wheel-drive and automatic transmission: 1963
  • Front-wheel-drive minivan: 1984
  • Airbag as standard: 1988
  • Integrated child seat: 1992 

1Orville Wright™ by The Wright family Foundation, and under the license through Corbis, Corporation.​