Why the front bench seat disappeared from cars and may make a comeback in EVs

The front bench seat was once standard in American cars, but over time it disappeared, in part due to changing tastes and safety regulations. Its disappearance actually says a lot about automotive history.

Bench seats could come back, thanks in part to electric or autonomous cars.

At one point in American automotive history, just about all cars had bench seats — they inherited the feature from horse-drawn carriages. Bench seats were perfect for squeezing several passengers in a car and were great for watching the drive-in movies that became popular in postwar America, not to mention cuddling during a date.