Automobiles – Covering Long Distances


An automobile is a motor vehicle for personal transportation, usually on land. Modern automobiles are generally four-wheeled vehicles designed to carry two or more passengers and a small amount of cargo. Most are fueled by gasoline, a liquid petroleum fuel. The scientific and technical building blocks of the automobile began to appear in the late 1600s, when Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens invented a type of internal combustion engine that could be sparked by gunpowder. The development of the automobile as an essential part of modern life began to accelerate in the 1920s. By the end of that decade, it had become clear that the automobile would dominate the world’s roads and that most families would be able to afford their own cars.

An automotive industry evolved to meet the demands of the automobile, providing one out of six jobs in America. It also became the chief customer for petroleum and steel, and it revolutionized the technologies of ancillary industries to meet its demand for their products. Automobiles also brought a new level of freedom to families, who no longer needed to depend on others for travel or work.

By the 1930s, nearly all new automobiles were built using the mass production techniques pioneered by American carmaker Henry Ford. He employed a moving assembly line and made significant improvements in engineering, design, and manufacturing. He reduced the price of his Model T runabout to a point that it was within reach of middle-class Americans, making mass personal “automobility” possible.

The auto industry is responsible for some of the greatest technological advances in modern times, including electrical ignition and the electric self-starter (invented by Charles Kettering for the Cadillac Motor Company in 1910-1911), hydraulic brakes, and syncromesh transmission. However, the automotive industry began to stagnate after 1920 as the market for cars reached saturation and manufacturers focused on marketing plans rather than major innovations in technology or design.

Automobiles are a critical part of society and provide many benefits to the economy, but they also pose challenges for future generations. The most serious of these is the automobile’s contribution to environmental and energy problems.


Owning an automobile opens up the possibility of moving between cities and states for employment, which can expand job opportunities and the number of people in a person’s social circle. It also makes it easier to visit friends and family who live far away.


Owning a car means you are not dependent on anyone else for transport, and you can choose how fast or slow to drive. An automobile also offers you the security of knowing that your children are not being exposed to dangerous traffic situations, such as crowded highways.

Having a car can save you time, which is an invaluable commodity in today’s hectic world. With the ability to cross town in minutes, you can spend more of your life doing the things you enjoy instead of spending hours traveling. This is especially useful when visiting relatives who live far away.

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