Automobiles are one of the most universal modern technologies. In fact, they have a long history. Before the automobile came into existence, steam engines and horseless carriages were the standard modes of transportation. Steam engines could travel at a decent speed, but their range was limited. A car, on the other hand, was the answer to the dream of a self-propelling carriage.
While a horseless carriage in its modern form was a real possibility in the late nineteenth century, a real automobile wasn’t ready until the early twentieth. The first successful gasoline-powered vehicle was manufactured by the Duryea brothers in 1896. Their first commercial gasoline automobile was a three-wheeler with a horizontal single cylinder engine and a drive chain to the rear wheel.
By the 1920s, the gasoline-powered automobile had overtaken the streets of Europe. It was also a big hit in the United States. Sales increased after World War II, and by the 1970s, the motor vehicle industry had become a global business.
There are many different types of cars. Most definitions of a car indicate that it has four wheels, seats for up to eight passengers, and runs on a road. However, there are also motorcycles and scooters. Motorcycles are often misunderstood. One of the reasons for this is that they don’t fall under the automobile definition.
One of the largest sectors of the automotive industry is the production of commercial vehicles. Commercial vehicles account for 56 percent of the sales of all automobiles. Vehicles used for transportation of people or goods such as taxis and buses are also included in the motor vehicle category.
Another type of automobile is the hybrid. These vehicles are a mix of gasoline and other fuels. They have a battery for energy, and a gasoline or diesel engine. This means that the car can carry more stuff than the traditional automobile. Also, it is better suited for light traffic.
As of 2012, there were about 4.8 trillion kilometers of driving on the roads in the U.S. Moreover, vehicle ownership has risen by five to 10 percent annually. Since the Asian economic crisis, vehicle sales have improved somewhat. But overall, the car industry has seen an unprecedented rise in sales.
An important factor in the rise of the automobile is the development of manufacturing techniques. Henry Ford, for example, revolutionized industrial manufacturing with his Model T. His production lines made the automobile more affordable to middle class families.
As for the art deco, this style of design developed during the interwar period. After the success of the 1925 Paris exhibition, the style spread across Europe.
However, the automobile was first invented in Germany. Karl Benz was one of the pioneers. Christiaan Huygens was the inventor of the internal combustion engine, a major component of today’s automobile.
Motorcycles, by comparison, have two wheels, a steering wheel, and a seat. They have a limited number of passengers, and are primarily meant for recreational purposes.