Nissan Leaf beaten by Concorde (in a survey)

Tom Barnard

29 Dec 2023

The Nissan Leaf has secured its place among some of the world’s greatest transport innovations according to a survey conducted by Nissan to mark its 90th birthday this week. 

To mark its 90 years, Nissan commissioned a OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults to find out people’s opinions on a list of other significant transport innovations of the last 90 years – with the opening of the Channel Tunnel, Concorde’s first flight and the invention of satnav coming out on top. The electrification of the London Underground, the first modern hovercraft and the first zebra crossing also ranked in the top 30. 

Looking to the future, the study showed that 69 per cent think that new technologies will play a big part in reducing the environmental impact of transportation in this country. 

The survey also revealed that 27 per cent are in favour of introducing artificial intelligence into the car industry, while 29 per cent hold the same views for public transport. 

The Nissan LEAF featured at number 19 on the list, while EVs specifically were voted as the innovation that holds the most promise for the future of UK sustainability. A third of those polled also believe the motor industry has undergone the most exciting changes over the past nine decades - compared to aviation, rail, and cycling. 

More sustainable road travel (38%), scientific advancement (16%), and employment opportunities (11%) were also seen as the biggest opportunities within the EV industry. 

Andrew Humberstone, managing director of Nissan GB, said: “Over the last 90 years, we’ve always dared to do things differently at Nissan and have delivered some truly ground-breaking innovations along the way. 

“We’re so proud of this pioneering spirit and the people who make up our incredible global team at Nissan - I look forward to sharing more automotive design, technology and driving excitement with our customers in the future.”


1.     1976 - Concorde makes first passenger-carrying supersonic flight

2.     1957 - First flight of a commercial jet airliner

3.     1994 - The opening of the channel tunnel

4.     1958 - First commercial jet airliner

5.     1981 - Maiden flight of the space shuttle

6.     1960 - Launch of the first Sat Nav 

7.     1951 - Creation of power steering

8.     1988 - First airbag 

9.     1934 - Introduction of the Driving Test

10.  1955 - Creation of the Hovercraft 

11.  1959 - The first three-point seat belt 

12.  2022 - First zero-emissions electric flight takes place

13.  1939 - First practical helicopter built 

14.  1949 - First zebra crossing 

15.  1971 - The Lunar Roving vehicle is used on the moon

16.  1964 - Launch of the Bullet Train

17.  1939 - Creation of automatic transmission

18.  1967 - Automatic Train Operation: London Underground

19.  2010 - Launch of the world’s first mass-produced electric car 

20.  1984 - Driverless Cars

21.  1953 - First air conditioning in a car

22.  2022 - First railway line run by hydrogen-powered trains

23.  1971 - ABS technology first used on a car

24.  1940 - First electric bus delivered

25.  2003 - First automatic parking 

26.  2016 - First hydrogen-powered flight 

27.  1984 - First car with a CD player

28.  2001 - First hands-free Bluetooth kit 

29.  2018 - First driverless trams tested

30.  1958 - Creation of cruise control 

Sat nav came 6th in the survey

Share this post

Click here to subscribe
“Added to your showroom”

You currently have no cars in your showroom. Browse our reviews here to start.


Please fill out your contact details below.