Automobiles are a type of motor vehicle that is used to transport people. They are often large and have four wheels. A car is a common mode of transportation in the world and can be a helpful way to get around town or go on long drives.
Historically, automobiles have been fueled by gasoline, diesel, and other liquid petroleum products. Today, technological advances have led to the use of alternative fuels such as electricity and hydrogen.
The first cars were steam-powered. They were developed by Joseph Cugnot in 1672.
Early steam-powered automobiles were slow and difficult to control, and they were not suitable for off-road use. However, the advent of gasoline and diesel engines in the late 19th century led to an explosion of automotive manufacturing that made cars a vital means of commercial transport.
By the early 20th century American manufacturers, aided by Henry Ford, had perfected mass-production techniques that enabled them to produce hundreds of different models at low cost. In addition, the American market was vast and had a high need for automobile transportation.
During the first half of the 20th century, automobiles were designed to satisfy specific needs in terms of ride comfort and engine performance. They also had to be rugged and durable.
By the 1930s, most car manufactures had standardized their design. They shared parts to cut costs and offered many different makes of cars, each with a wide price range. Manufacturers also changed their designs annually to lure consumers to buy new cars.