The History of Automobiles
Automobiles are four-wheeled vehicles that use an internal combustion engine or electric motor to propel them. They are usually driven on roads and have seating for one to eight people. The branches of engineering that deal with automobiles are called automotive engineering. Today, automobiles play a major role in our lives and are an integral part of modern civilization.
The history of the automobile dates back several hundred years. Leonardo da Vinci created designs for transport vehicles, and the modern car was born in the late 1800s with the invention of the internal combustion engine. It enabled cars to reach high speeds and provide greater safety for occupants.
After Karl Benz invented the first true automobile, other inventors and engineers followed with their own versions. By the 1920s Henry Ford had innovated mass production techniques, which made automobiles affordable to more people. This revolutionized American life and helped develop new industries for manufacturing, transportation and service. It gave people more personal freedom and allowed them to do leisure activities like travel, shopping and recreation. It also brought harm to the environment with pollution and the draining of global oil supplies.
The automobile has been a driving force of American history, but now it is being replaced by other forces. The Internet, mobile technology and robots are changing the world. We are now in a period that can appropriately be labeled as the Age of Electronics. However, the automobile remains a vital component of our society.