The concept of vehicle heating existed before the invention of the car. Portable heaters were used in horse carriages and later in the first carriages. However, soon after, a system was developed that exploited the heat emanating from car engines. This basic idea has been used since the beginning of the 20th century, albeit with better technology.
Currently, vehicle heating is controlled only using a dashboard switch. The operator simply adjusts the dial or knob until temperature, airflow and direction are satisfactory. This way it is possible to direct heat to the windshield to melt it. More and more cars are even offering separate heating and cooling options for passengers and drivers. You can visit some sites like https://www.hotheadheater.com/ to get details of stock car heaters.
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Other cars go a step further and offer automatic temperature control. The driver selects the desired temperature, airflow and direction. As soon as this is configured, the system automatically detects the interior temperature and takes the appropriate action to design the environment exactly as the driver intended.
It is always possible to reset the settings until they are exactly what the driver wants. The biggest advantage of this system is that the driver doesn't have to adjust any of the controls every day. The system knows what it wants, records the climate in the car and adjusts its own controls.
Portable car heaters have not been completely replaced. Some drivers find an extra heater that plugs into a cigarette lighter or the car battery very useful in cold weather. Smaller portable heaters help melt the ice, and some larger heaters add extra heat to the rear seat or the entire car.