A motor vehicle, usually four-wheeled, which carries people for their own transportation and is propelled by an internal combustion engine or electric motor. Automotive engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with automobiles, including their design and manufacture.
Automobiles are an important means of transport and a lifeline for many people in the world. However, they can cause air pollution if too many of them are on the road. Also, they can be dangerous to drive in and cause injury and damage when they crash.
There are a number of different types of vehicles that have been designed and made over the years. Some have been powered by steam or electricity, and others have been fueled by gasoline.
The first self-propelled car was built by Nicolas Joseph Cugnot in Paris in 1789. The French engineer built a three-wheeled steam-powered carriage, but it could not go faster than 3 mph (4.8 kph).
Several other inventions were made by various inventors throughout the 19th century. Among them was the internal combustion engine, which was invented in 1806 by a Swiss.
When this engine was used to power a vehicle, it was much more efficient than the old engines that powered horse-drawn carts and other carriages. Using an internal combustion engine, cars could run at speeds of up to 70 mph (110 km/h).
Some people believe that the first real auto was created by German engineer Karl Benz in 1885. Benz built a two-wheeled car in Mannheim, Germany, and began to promote it. He was awarded a patent for the vehicle on 29 January 1886, under the auspices of his company, Benz & Cie.
After Benz’s death in 1886, other engineers in Germany and France continued to work on internal combustion engines. In 1887, the German engineer Gottlieb Daimler developed a more advanced internal combustion engine.
By the 1890s, a variety of small internal-combustion engines were being produced in France and Britain, with many different styles of cars being built. Eventually, the most popular type of car in Europe was the three-wheeled automobile with a front-mounted engine.
The car became widely popular in the United States and Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The automobile was a new technology in these countries, and it quickly changed the way people lived.
One of the most significant changes was the development of the automobile’s standardized mass production techniques. After the advent of Henry Ford’s automobile, the Model T, in 1912, a new type of car could be produced at relatively low prices and offered in large numbers to consumers.
In addition to its role in the economy, the automobile was a key factor in the development of the military during World War I and World War II. During these wars, American manufacturers turned out a large number of military vehicles and other essential material.
After World War I, the United States began producing automobiles at a much larger scale than in Europe. In part this was because the United States had a vast land area and a thriving manufacturing tradition that made it easy to produce cars in volume at lower prices than in Europe. The United States also had a higher per capita income than Europe, which ensured that the demand for cars would be strong.