The History of Automobiles


An automobile is a wheeled motor vehicle that has been designed for the transport of people and can be powered by either an internal combustion engine or an electric motor. They are usually built on a chassis with four wheels, seating for one to six passengers and are used primarily to travel on roads. Historically, they have been powered by gasoline (petrol), but current research is focused on alternative fuels, especially electricity, as well as hydrogen and solar cell energy.

Almost anyone who owns a car can tell you that having a vehicle is a huge benefit. It can save you time by eliminating the need to wait for public transportation, and it can also help you avoid a late night rush to get home from work on time to be able to sleep. Plus, if you have to make an important trip such as going to a medical appointment or meeting with a client, it’s much easier to do if you have a car.

The automobile revolutionized many aspects of society in the United States and beyond. It fueled a long-standing American predilection for individual freedom of movement and action, and it encouraged the growth of suburban areas where each family had its own house with a green grass lawn around it. It enabled the development of a massive system of tax-supported interstate highways to allow for long distance travel, and it has spawned numerous industries such as oil refining, tire production, parts manufacturing, automotive repair and sales, and insurance.

In general, it is believed that the modern automobile was born in the late 1800s with the invention of the internal combustion engine. The engine was a major improvement in automotive transport over the horse-powered carriages that preceded it, and it greatly improved the safety of road travel by providing an independent means of propulsion for the driver.

During the early 1900s, Henry Ford developed mass production at his Highland Park, Michigan plant, which was an important step in making cars affordable for the average person. His Model T runabout was priced at $575 in 1912, less than the average annual wage at that time. By the end of production in 1927, over 15 million had been sold.

The SUV is a newer type of automobile, which has become more popular with consumers. Initially, they were designed with off-roading capabilities in mind and featured rugged, four-wheel drive systems. However, they have evolved into what is now a very broad range of vehicles that span from barely lifted hatchbacks with a few extra inches of ground clearance to giant monsters wearing Hummer badges. Those looking for a reliable and fun to drive SUV should look for a compact model such as the Mazda CX-5 or Toyota RAV4. The midsize models that received top marks from Consumer Reports include the Hyundai Santa Fe, Honda Pilot and Chevrolet Blazer. Those who need a larger vehicle should consider the Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition for their towing capabilities and strong safety ratings.

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