Automobiles are a type of wheeled motor vehicle that is used for transportation. According to most definitions, automobiles run on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and primarily transport people. This article explores the evolution of automobiles and changes in the American society. Also learn about improvements in automotive safety design.
Changes in American society
Automobiles revolutionized American society by making transportation more accessible to everyone. By the early twentieth century, there were hundreds of car manufacturers. However, most were too expensive for most Americans to afford. This is why Henry Ford created the assembly line and used mass production to produce inexpensive cars. Ford reduced the price of his Model T from $850 in 1908 to $300 by 1924. By the end of the 1920s, one out of five American families owned a car.
Development of internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine has been a mainstay of automobiles for over 100 years. Although the technology behind it has changed greatly over the years, the basic principle of the internal combustion engine remains the same. The internal combustion engine takes two fuels – air and fuel – and burns them in order to generate energy and move the vehicle forward. Today, internal combustion engines are more efficient and can produce supercar-like power.
Improvements in automotive safety design
Modern automobiles are equipped with advanced safety features that significantly reduce the risks of accidents. Advanced antilock braking systems and electronic stability control systems (ESC) are examples of these technologies. These systems use computer chips to help drivers keep their cars under control, even during unstable driving conditions. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these systems reduce the risk of single-vehicle crashes by 40 percent or more, and can prevent fatal crashes in some cases.
Impact on the environment
Automobiles are a major source of air pollution and CO2 emissions. On average, two new vehicles enter the road every second, and the total number of vehicles may reach two billion by 2035. Fuel efficiency is an important concern, but it is not the only way to reduce the impact of automobiles on the environment. Other factors include road building, which contributes significantly to emissions and impacts on wildlife.
Cost of automobiles
The average cost of a new car in July was $48,182, according to Kelley Blue Book. Buyers in the non-luxury segment spent an additional $875 on average above sticker price. Rising fuel prices and shortages of microchips have pushed prices even higher. Fuel costs are the second-highest cost of owning a car after depreciation.