Automobiles are four-wheeled vehicles designed primarily for passenger transportation and propelled by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems with thousands of subsystems that work together to fulfill a specific design function. These systems can include the body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, control systems, safety systems, and emission-control systems. In addition, the automobile has become a symbol of personal freedom and independence because people who own cars can move about their town or city without having to depend on others for travel.
ACCESS TO PLACES
One of the greatest advantages of the automobile is that it makes travel to places far away a lot easier. This opens up a world of opportunities for jobs, social activities, and family vacations. It allows people living in cities to visit rural areas and vice versa. The automobile also makes it possible to work in one place and live in another, allowing people more options for career choices. It also makes it much easier for women to participate in the workforce, as they can get to work on their own.
OPENS UP NEW INDUSTRIES AND SERVICES
The automobile opened up new industries and services like gas stations, auto repair shops, convenience stores, etc. It also changed the economy of America as it created more middle class families and allowed people to have access to better jobs. It gave more personal freedom to individuals as it allowed them to go out and enjoy leisure activities like going to restaurants and amusement parks. It also helped with the development of the country’s culture as it brought in new types of recreation like road trips and camping.
The advent of the automobile brought a host of social and environmental problems as well. Traffic congestion and air pollution from burning fossil fuels are major issues. Automobiles also cause a large drain on the world’s oil reserves. In addition, it has been argued that automobiles encourage reckless driving and the use of alcohol which can lead to accidents and fatalities.
Automobiles have undergone many technological advances over the years. They began with the steam-powered, internal combustion engines in the early 1800s. They were perfected in Germany and France by engineers like Karl Benz. Then came the invention of the assembly line by Henry Ford, which enabled them to be mass-produced. This led to the emergence of the Big Three American automakers, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler.
By the 1930s, market saturation had occurred simultaneously with technological stagnation, and production and innovation were slowing to a crawl. During this time, manufacturers were funneling their resources into producing for the war effort. This opened the door to foreign car producers such as Germany and Japan who offered functionally designed, economically priced, well-built small cars. The era of the annually redesigned, gas-guzzling road cruiser came to an end with the imposition of federal standards for safety and emissions; with escalating gasoline prices after the oil shocks of 1973 and 1975; and with the penetration of the American and world markets by German and Japanese fuel-efficient, functionally designed, compact cars.