Automobiles are a vital part of our daily lives and we can’t imagine a world without them. We use them for transportation from one place to another, thus enabling us to spend more time with our family and friends. Besides this, automobiles also help us to carry more luggage and heavy loads.
The development of automobiles can be traced back several hundred years. The first automobiles were powered by steam, electricity or gasoline. The steam-powered vehicles had the advantage of going fast but they required a lot of fuel. The electrically powered vehicles were more convenient but they had a limited range and they required frequent recharging. The earliest gasoline-powered cars had a sputtering engine that was hard to start and could only travel a short distance before stopping. However, this type of car was more efficient than the steam and electric models.
Karl Benz is credited with inventing the modern automobile by using a four-stroke, internal combustion engine. He built a prototype in 1885 and began selling it the following year. Although Benz’s car was expensive, he developed mass production techniques to make the vehicle more affordable. This allowed a larger segment of the population to buy an automobile.
After automobiles became widely available, traffic accidents increased. Narrow roads with no shoulders and sharp, unbanked curves couldn’t handle the speed runs of the new machines. Drivers wanted to know how far they could go and the manufacturers responded by making their cars faster. As a result, drivers crashed into each other with alarming frequency.
Modern automobiles are complex technical systems that contain thousands of parts. These components have evolved from breakthroughs in technology, research and engineering, and competition among manufacturers around the world.
Today, automobiles are the most popular means of passenger transportation. Over 1.4 billion vehicles are in operation worldwide, with one-quarter of them in the United States. These vehicles cover three trillion miles each year. They transport people and goods, enable recreational activities and businesses to flourish, and make the economy thrive. The automobile revolutionized the way we live, work and play, and even our social relationships.
There are ten basic types of automobiles. There are sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, vans, and SUVs. Sedans have a trunk and doors in the front, while hatchbacks have an open trunk. Station wagons have a rear door that opens to reveal a cargo area. SUVs have raised ground clearance and rugged body cladding to distinguish them from sedans. All of these have different engines, but they all share the same basic design. Each generation of automobiles is a significant improvement over the last. The current vehicles are more powerful, safer, more efficient, more comfortable, and easier to operate than their predecessors. They have also become more environmentally friendly.