The Evolution of Automobiles
Automobiles are vehicles that are designed to transport people or goods. They are usually propelled by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Some cars are powered by electric motors. New technical developments in the automobile industry have led to improvements in the body, chassis, engine, drive train, safety systems and control systems of the car. The car industry is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide.
The automobile revolutionized the way we live. It enabled people to commute to work, go shopping and enjoy leisure activities. It also contributed to the growth of the economy by bringing in new jobs, services, industries and businesses. However, the automobile also caused harm to the environment by releasing harmful gases into the air and depleting natural resources. It also contributed to the development of highways and related infrastructure.
In the late 1800s, two French inventors, Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville and Leon Malandin, tried to create a self-propelled vehicle using an Otto Cycle gasoline engine. Unfortunately, the tank hose came loose during their first test run and the automobile exploded. Nevertheless, the inventors were determined to improve on their invention and in 1884 they built and patented a second vehicle.
The next major step in the evolution of the automobile was made by Karl Benz from Germany who developed the world’s first gasoline powered, four-wheeled car in 1885. He improved upon the earlier designs by adding an ignition system, a battery, a radiator and an internal combustion engine.