What Are Automobiles?
Automobiles are vehicles that run on their own power instead of using horses or other engines to move them. The word automobile comes from the Greek prefix auto (self) and the Latin moto (moving).
During the 19th century, people used various kinds of steam-powered cars to transport passengers on land. These vehicles were slow and difficult to control, but in the early part of the 20th century, new technologies allowed them to be safer, faster and cheaper.
The first modern automobile was invented in 1886 by Karl Benz in Germany. His car, the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, was designed to be driven with an internal combustion engine.
He patented his invention in 1886 and began to build and sell it in Germany that same year. However, the vehicle he built failed on its first test drive.
Most automobiles today use an internal combustion engine to drive the wheels, usually fueled by gasoline, a liquid petroleum product. Some cars also use electricity to drive their wheels.
All cars have brakes, which work by friction to stop the car quickly in an emergency or to keep it from rolling when parked. Some cars also have regenerative brakes, which slow the car by turning the energy in its movement back into electricity.
Another type of automobile is the hybrid car, which uses a combination of electric and gas engines to drive the wheels. These cars are very popular in Europe and Japan.
The automobile is one of the world’s largest industries, with more than 73 million new vehicles produced worldwide in 2017. Many countries have laws that require the manufacturers to produce fuel-efficient vehicles and reduce emissions of pollutants.
It is the most widely used form of transportation in the world. It is made in many shapes and sizes for different purposes, including sports cars, taxis, vans and pickup trucks.
There are many benefits to owning an automobile, but there are a number of disadvantages as well. These include the cost of maintenance, repairs, fuel, depreciation, parking fees, insurance and taxes. It also takes up a lot of space on roads and other highways and can cause pollution.
In the twentieth century the automobile became a key force for change in American society. It revolutionized the industrial economy, bringing mass production to a range of consumer goods. Its impact was so great that it was referred to as the “automobile age.”
The automobile’s ability to deliver goods and services to the public has changed the face of American life. It stimulated a wide variety of consumer and commercial activities, including tourism, trucking and the construction of street and highway systems. It also brought the convenience of urban amenities to rural America.
By the end of the twentieth century the automobile was the backbone of a new consumer goods-oriented society. It ranked as the world’s most valuable industry and provided one out of every six jobs in the United States. It had become the lifeblood of the petroleum industry, a major customer of steel and an important consumer of industrial products.