It’s no secret that Chevrolet has produced some of the most influential and capable trucks in automotive history. Since the brand’s founding in the early 1900s, Chevy has made a name for itself by creating some of the most iconic and powerful vehicles in the business, always striving to create the best automobile for the times at hand. Technology and innovation are two of the core tenets that Chevy has operated under since the early days, and they have since continued that tradition in the years that followed.
In the past two decades, one standout vehicle in their continued pursuits to further technology and innovation would be the Chevy Silverado 1500, a truck that has been at the forefront of both innovation and technology since its first generation release back in 1998. The 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500 boasts the highest and best strides on these fronts, according to the folks at Chevy, and with a lot to look forward to in this year’s model, we can’t help but look back at all the excellent strides this vehicle has taken on the technology front since the late ’90s.
Ahead of its Time, Even Way Back When
Seeing as the early models of the Silverado came out in the late ’90s, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to those who had reached the legal driving age before the late 2000s that these vehicles came equipped with, shall we say, less advanced options by today’s standards when it came to its technology. Don’t get us wrong; these first-generation Silverados came fitted with the most state-of-the-art tech of the time, power windows, CD plays, electric locks, and air conditioning, a cut above what most mainstream vehicles featured ten years prior. But there’s no doubt that if you put one of today’s young people in one of these trucks, they’d be confused as to why there was no touchscreen or smartphone connectivity.
Indeed, this was a different era for automobile tech features, and “state-of-the-art” certainly had a different meaning. But when you consider what vehicles of past generations offered; crank windows, and in times even further passed, no locks or even air conditioning, there’s no doubt that these features were welcome innovations at the time of their conception. In just the few years that followed this generation of Chevys, the definition of “state-of-the-art” would go on to rapidly change as technology of all different kinds began to boom in the 2000s.
The Silverado and the Technology Boom
In the Silverado‘s second generation of vehicles, consumers would find unprecedented strides in the trucks’ technology that would see them able to check in with their vehicle as well as use it as a nexus of connectivity in new and exciting ways. The mid-2000s saw the emergence of connection with helplines for drivers with the push of a button from within the car: a system known as OnStar. Capable of connecting drivers with services ranging from emergency to navigational, OnStar allowed drivers to stay in the know with their vehicle and their surroundings more acutely than ever. This new technology increased safety within Silverados––as well as other vehicles––by leagues, ensuring emergency responders got to the scene of extreme situations more quickly and helping drivers stay on course to their next destination. It was even (and still is) capable of running vehicle diagnostics remotely, making sure drivers spent less time in the shop and more time on the road. The inclusion of OnStar in the premier second-generation Silverados was a huge stride in innovation. But, remember, this was the technology boom of the early/mid-2000s. These strides were only just beginning.
In the models that followed in 2009, the standard Silverado 1500 could be fitted with some of the most influential and bold strides in automotive technology in the 21st century: the inclusion of Bluetooth technology. Though par for the course in cars these days, this revolutionary technology allowed drivers to make hands-free calls directly from their phones, and even stream music. Bluetooth technology allowed for a whole new world of connectivity while driving, creating the capacity for more streamlined and personalized entertainment options while on the road. Though the Silverados of the late 2000s did not see much else in the way of technological innovations beyond this, it was certainly a tremendous step for these Chevys, as well as vehicles of all different makes and models.
The third generation of the Chevy Silverado saw the introduction of something that most people these days cannot see their cars going without: the infotainment system. Running on the highest and best software of the time, the Chevrolet MyLink system, users were able to connect with and control their phone, their navigational systems, and their entertainment, all with the touch of a screen, streamlining connectivity by even further leaps that were ever thought possible until its release. The Chevrolet MyLink system kept drivers in tune and in sync with every aspect of their vehicle, from their tire pressure to their choice of musical stylings, in such a new and interesting way that it quickly became a wonder how we ever went without it soon after people at the time got their hands on it. As this technology advanced in the following few years, access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto became available, refining the user interface to such perfection that anyone could find their way around it with ease, even the younger passengers.
With some of the boldest strides of technological innovation in automobiles under the Silverado 1500’s belt, all that remained was to refine this technology. In the fourth generation of Silverados, which started in 2019, drivers would find larger and more responsive touch screens sitting on that center dashboard, running on the most advanced iteration of the MyLink system yet. What’s more, this iteration of the Silverado came with LTE wifi hotspot capability, creating further connectivity for any and all technology on board. This year’s Silverado was also the definitive amalgamation of safety and technology at the time, coming with cameras affixed to the back and sides of the truck so as to give the driver a 360-degree view of their surroundings whenever they needed it, a lane departure warning system, automatic emergency braking, and forward collision warning. These trucks were more than just a nexus of connectivity; they were the safest machines any person could jump into.
A Rich History That Has Lead to the 2023 Chevy Silverado 1500
The Chevy Silverado has seen quite a development in its 24 years in production on its technology front, as well as so much more. This year’s 2023 Silverado 1500 takes these features up a notch, offering the highest class, power, performance, safety, and technological advancement in the vehicle’s history. When looking back, it is evident that the Chevy Silverado has always had a close relationship with the most modern and advanced technologies of the time, offering new and exciting strides of innovation in that regard with each new model.
The Chevy brand is, and continues to be, in a league of its own on many fronts, and that shows no sign of changing anytime soon. The 2023 model brings with it exciting things like the ZR2 Bison edition, a maximum towing capacity of 13,300 lbs, and an available 13.4-inch infotainment touchscreen. Even these few features are a major step up from the original Silverado model, and there is so much more to experience.