The automobiles in the late 19th and early 20th century did not have a complex dashboard displaying a multitude of information like we have today. The industry was very young and the inventors and technologists focused on making sure that these ‘horseless carriages’ went from point A to point B. Builders and consumers did not have the time and capacity to incorporate extensive diagnostics and metrics to understand the state and performance of these vehicles.
As the automobile technologies matured, dashboards were put in place to give people information about how the vehicle was performing. Speedometers tell us how fast we are going. Oil and temperature gauges give us insight into the health of the engine. Air pressure monitors let us know when to add air to our tires. Today, we even have built-in compasses and GPS systems that can pinpoint our location on the planet within a few meters.