Automobiles are a type of vehicle that is driven by motors and can hold one to seven passengers. There are many different types of automobiles, including passenger cars, sport cars, truckers and even special purpose vehicles like crane vehicles or fork-lifts. There are also various sizes and styles of automobiles. Some automobiles are designed for safety, while others are made for fuel efficiency. There are even automobiles that are designed to carry medical patients or firefighters.
The history of the automobile is a long and rich story. The first automobiles were created in the late 1800s and perfected by the end of that century. Inventors like Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz and Nicolaus Otto are given credit for inventing the modern motorcar. In the early 1920s Henry Ford introduced mass production techniques that greatly expanded the market for automobiles. This revolutionized the industry and created giants like Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.
Today the car is the world’s most common means of personal transportation with 1.4 billion of them in use worldwide. These automobiles drive over three trillion miles a year and are used by nearly half of the world’s population. New technology has improved the engine, chassis, controls and body. These improvements are the result of research and development work done by engineers and scientists employed by automobile manufacturers and suppliers.
As the automobile revolutionized society, people were able to travel more quickly and easily. It gave them access to jobs, places to live and leisure activities. It also caused social changes in the United States such as a push for women’s voting rights. Women could now drive around with “votes for women” banners and speak out publicly about their issues from the comfort of their own automobiles.
Automobiles allowed families to move farther away from cities and commute to suburbs where they would have more privacy and space for a home. This change in lifestyle created the need for services such as restaurants, hotels, gas stations and amusement parks. The automobile also brought environmental harm with the addition of pollution from exhaust and the destruction of natural habitats. It also led to the development of highways, which required large amounts of land that could have been put to more productive use.
While there is debate over who invented the automobile, historians agree that it was a significant step toward improving the quality of life for the common man. The car is now considered a necessity for most families. There is a wide range of automobiles on the market and more on the way, with some companies producing dozens of models each year to cater to different consumer tastes. However, this era of the annually restyled road cruiser has ended with the imposition of federal standards for automotive safety and emissions of pollutants; with rising gasoline prices; and with the penetration of the world markets by Japanese manufacturers offering fuel-efficient, functionally designed, well-built small cars. These changes have eroded the profits that American makers of big, ugly and polluting automobiles were making.