Throughout the years, the automobile has become the most popular mode of transportation. It is used to transport goods, people and passengers. It is also a tool that helps to develop economies. The automobile is a complex technical system that has thousands of component parts. The car can be powered by a petrol engine, an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. The design of an automobile can vary and the size ranges from small cars to large sport utility vehicles that can carry up to seven occupants.
The invention of the car has been the result of a number of innovations. Steam-powered road vehicles were popular in the first half of the 19th century. These included steam cars, steam rollers, phaetons and steam buses. During this period, the automobile was also introduced. However, there was a negative attitude towards steam-powered vehicles, which led to the Locomotive Acts of 1865.
In 1886, German inventor Carl Benz received a patent for his Motorwagen. The first automobile with an internal combustion engine was built by Benz in Mannheim, Germany. He also designed the first commercial four-wheeler in 1893.
In the United States, Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903. The Model T became the first affordable mass-produced automobile. It was manufactured using assembly line techniques by 1913. The car is considered the forerunner of the American automotive industry. During the 1920s, auto production in the United States was hindered by World War II, but it returned to its earlier prosperity in the 1960s and 1970s.
After World War II, the demand for automobiles in the United States and other parts of the world increased. By the early 1980s, the U.S. auto industry had been in serious trouble. It was losing ground to foreign companies. In response, the government negotiated a quota system with Japan, which raised the price of Japanese cars. The United States and Japan later entered into a quota agreement to limit the amount of imports of automobiles from each country.
The automobile was originally a two-wheeled bicycle-like contraption. A similar machine was developed in 1867 by Sylvester Howard Roper. This machine had a rear engine and steerable front wheels. This was the precursor to the modern minivan.
The automobile gained international attention in 1925 with the Paris exhibition. During this period, automakers began to adopt sleek iconography of streamlining. They also presented aircraft-inspired body styles. In addition, the automobile was considered essential for the development of developed economies. In the late twentieth century, auto manufacturers were required to comply with more rigorous standards in order to improve safety, emissions, and fuel consumption.
The auto industry became increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few major companies. This made them more competitive. They also lobbied against the regulation of safety. In fact, most injuries were claimed to be caused by driver error. Consequently, the automobile was one of the greatest targets of theft. It is also a major source of air pollution. In addition, the automobile is heavily taxed.