Until the mid-1970s the reigning pontiffs used to be conveyed by a transportation device called sedia gestatoria, or gestatorial chair. It is a ceremonial chair on which the popes are carried on the shoulders of its carriers, and was used for the popes’ outdoor public appearances.
But in modern times, the sedia gestatoria fell out of favor and use. It was replaced by the faster and specially-designed Popemobile vehicles, which would also allow the Pope to be more visible when greeting big crowds. It has been in use ever since. The first Popemobile (as well as the first pontiff to use it) was a specially modified Toyota Land Cruiser used by Pope Paul VI.