Automobiles are wheeled vehicles that are powered by engines. They are designed to run primarily on roads and have seating for one to seven passengers. Today, there are an estimated 1.4 billion passenger cars in use worldwide, with the majority of them being in the United States. There are also more than five trillion kilometres of road that they travel annually.
Modern automobiles are complex technical systems with numerous subsystems that perform specific functions. In general, they are powered by internal combustion engines that use volatile fuels to produce mechanical energy.
The first automobiles were powered by steam. Later, they were adapted for gas-powered engines. The internal combustion engine made them much faster and more efficient than their steam-powered predecessors. This was a major change to human society. The ability to move rapidly from place to place opened new industries and allowed humans to use the surplus of fossil fuels on the Earth.
In the early 20th century, automobiles were becoming increasingly popular. Ransom Eli Olds debuted the production line manufacturing concept at his Oldsmobile factory in 1902. Henry Ford introduced the Model T in 1914. Postwar, however, the market became saturated and technological developments slowed. This was due to the fact that automakers had to focus on producing for the war effort and that Americans complained about the nonfunctional styling of American cars and referred to them as “gas guzzlers.” Concern over pollution and the rapid draining of the world’s oil reserves caused people to demand more efficient and functional automobiles from Japan and Germany.
Having your own car gives you freedom to get where you want, when you want. Depending on public transport or friends to give you a lift can be stressful, especially if you are in a hurry. Having your own vehicle will help you to be punctual for work and other obligations. It can also help you save money on taxi rides and bus fares.
Automobiles have become an indispensable part of modern life. Without them, many of the luxuries that we take for granted would be unavailable. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems with thousands of component parts, including those that make them safe, economical and reliable. The field of engineering that deals with these vehicles is known as automotive engineering.
Buying a car is a major investment. The initial purchase price is just the beginning. Other costs include repairs, maintenance, fuel, depreciation, insurance, parking fees and taxes. Then there are indirect societal costs, such as the cost of maintaining roads and other infrastructure, health care costs related to accidents, and the cost of disposing of used cars. However, if you shop around and choose wisely, you can find a good value on a vehicle that will serve you for years to come. The Mazda Miata is a great example of a fun-to-drive, efficient and reliable automobile that won’t break the bank. Other top choices are the Honda CR-V, Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition.