Automobiles are vehicles that use an internal combustion engine to power their wheels. They can be powered by gasoline, diesel fuel, CNG, or electric energy. Automobiles are a key part of the world’s economy and culture. Without automobiles, modern life would be inconceivable or at least extremely difficult.
The scientific and technical building blocks of the modern automobile have roots that go back hundreds of years. In the late 1600s, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens invented a type of internal combustion engine sparked by gunpowder. By the end of the nineteenth century, the first automobiles were appearing. These “horseless carriages” were based on a horse-drawn carriage with the horses removed and engines installed. In 1885 Karl Benz developed the world’s first gas-powered car.
Emile Levassor and Armand Peugeot of France soon built their own cars with Daimler engines. By the 1920s, gas-powered automobiles had largely replaced the old horse-drawn carriages on most roads. The modern automobile was also an important catalyst for the development of mass production. The manufacturing methods that Henry Ford pioneered allowed many cars to be produced at once, dramatically lowering their price and making them affordable for middle-class families.
Whether we need to drive a family across town, pick up a friend at the airport or go on vacation in style, the automobile makes our lives easier. In addition, as safety laws become stricter and technology improves, a lot of features that are optional on luxury vehicles are becoming standard on most automobiles.