The automobile revolutionized the way people live and work. It gave people the freedom to travel great distances and to do more activities in their spare time. It also caused new services to be developed, such as gas stations, hotels, amusement parks and other recreational facilities, restaurants and fast food outlets. The car had a positive impact on the economy but it also had negative effects, such as air pollution and congestion on highways and streets.
Thousands of individual parts make up the modern automobile. The vehicle’s different systems are designed to perform important functions, just like the human body. An analogous circulatory system transports cooling fluid (water), lubricating oil and fuel throughout the engine to keep it running smoothly and efficiently.
Karl Benz is credited with inventing the first automobile around 1885, but the industry really began to develop in the United States around 1910. Businessman and engineer Henry Ford introduced assembly line techniques at his factory in Highland Park, Michigan. These methods allowed him to manufacture his Model T runabout at a price that made it affordable for middle-class American families.
From the late 1800s to 1920, the automobile transformed the way people lived in America. It became the main force driving a consumer goods-oriented society, and it was one of the most important consumers of petroleum and steel products.
In the 1920s, it seemed that modern life was impossible or at least highly inconvenient without access to an automobile. It also had a profound effect on society, providing people with the opportunity to travel and explore more of their country and to live in places other than their own home town.
Today, most Americans own cars. The automobile remains an important part of our lives, but it is no longer a driving force for change. In its place are new forces, such as electronic media, the laser, the computer and the robot.
Few inventions have had as great an influence on the history of human civilization as the automobile. It was responsible for reshaping social and economic relationships, creating new opportunities and opening up many of our world’s best natural resources. Ultimately, however, it has become an environmental threat that is causing harm to the world and the people who inhabit it. It is important for us to understand the problems that are associated with automobiles so we can reduce the negative impacts they have on our environment.