Daimler, possibly on a test run, c1897Daimler Pullman, 1897 : An early petrol-engine Daimler motorbus was tried out on Oxford Street by the Pullman Bus Company in 1897. It did not last more than a few weeks.
See this object and other related objects from within the 19th century London gallery
Related story:Experiments to replace the horse
Various alternatives to horse power were tested on London's streets during the 19th century. Steam-powered road engines and trams proved too heavy and damaged the roads. Stationary steam engines were used to haul trams attached to a cable, but these were only really effective on hills that were too steep for horses. There were also experiments with trams driven by gas engines and battery electric power, but neither was successfully developed. Petrol engines were still primitive and unreliable in the 1890s. In 1900 the reliable horse still dominated the streets of London, but new technology was about to revolutionize road transport.