Automobiles are one of the most important inventions in modern times. They have changed the way people live, work, and play. It is hard to imagine our lives without them. They are used for both passenger and cargo transportation. They are a lifeline for us and they also provide us with the comfort we need in our day to day life. These vehicles are driven by internal combustion engine and they usually have four to eight wheels and are powered by gasoline or electric motor. There are many different types of automobiles. Some are electric, some use petroleum fuel and others run on natural gas. The branches of engineering that deal with the manufacture and technologies of these vehicles are known as automotive Engineering.
The automobile has been a key force for change in America’s industrial and technological history and it has helped shape the world that we live in today. It gave people more freedom, access to jobs and services, and the ability to travel long distances to meet their needs. It created new industries and it also required the construction of roads, bridges, highways, gas stations and convenience stores. It was also the main source of employment for thousands of men and women. It also led to the growth of leisure activities and it encouraged a growing number of businesses that serve these activities. The automobile also influenced culture in America by giving rise to drive-in movies and drive-through restaurants.
Exactly who invented the automobile is a matter of debate. Some experts believe that Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to create designs and models for transport vehicles while other scholars credit Karl Benz from Germany for creating the first true automobile in 1885/1886. Regardless of who invented the car, it was Henry Ford who revolutionized automobile manufacturing by using assembly lines to produce the Model T. This allowed him to lower the price of his vehicle and make it affordable for the middle class.
By the 1920s there were over 8 million automobiles registered in the United States and it was estimated that by 1982 there would be 60 million. This ushered in the age of mass consumerism and increased social and political change. The automobile boosted the economy, providing a huge boost to steel and petroleum companies and it also helped the development of dozens of ancillary industries, such as vulcanized rubber and road construction.
While the automobile brought about great changes for industry and technology, it also brought harm to the environment, especially air pollution. It also drained the world’s dwindling oil supply. The era of the annually restyled, gas-guzzling “road cruiser” was eventually brought to an end by the imposition of standards for safety and quality, federal regulations governing emissions and fuel consumption, and rising prices for oil. By the mid-1960s, American cars had become notorious for their non-functional styling and shoddy workmanship and by the 1970s they were losing ground to imported Japanese cars that offered better design and functionality at less cost.