Mike Stevens | Apr 9, 2010

ACCORDING TO a new study by Engineers Australia, Aussies consider hybrid cars the most important technological breakthrough of the past decade, beating out the likes of the Large Hadron Collider and GPS technology.

Over 40 percent of respondents (total numbers were not revealed) pointed to the development of hybrid technology as the most impressive new technology of the 2000s.

While some of the technologies listed in the study have existed since before the start of the 21st century, it has been the last decade that most became widely available and affordable to the public.

Mark McCrindle, whose company McCrindle Research conducted the poll, said that Australians were drawn to hybrid cars on a number of levels.

“Australians are realists – they acknowledge cars as a part of everyday life but they are also becoming increasingly aware of the environmental issues that owning a car can bring,’’ Mr McCrindle said.

‘‘Hybrid cars address both of these concerns and therefore are highly valued by Australians.”

The Large Hadron Collider finished second in the poll, with 16.5 percent of the vote. It was followed by GPS technology, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the world's tallest building) and the almost ubiquitous Apple iPhone.

Some 20 percent of participants believe that Australia's road infrastructure should be a bigger focus for engineers in the near future.

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