The Benefits of Automobiles
Automobiles are four-wheeled vehicles designed primarily for passenger transportation and powered by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. Modern automobiles are complex technical systems consisting of many subsystems with specific design functions. These include electrical systems, engine technology, air and noise pollution control and safety devices.
A car’s heart is its engine, which generates power that drives the wheels and provides electricity for lights and other systems. All other parts of the vehicle work in tandem with the engine to make the car a functional system that is safe and comfortable for the passengers.
Modern cars are a vast technological achievement that has revolutionized personal transportation, and the industry is constantly evolving. A century after the automobile was first invented it is now a crucial component of world trade and commerce. Its widespread use has shaped the way we live, the cities we build and even the country’s economy.
OPENS UP THE WORLD: The ability to travel long distances is one of the greatest benefits that a car can offer. It allows people to work in different places, expand their social circle and explore more of the world than they could with only walking or riding a bicycle.
Automobiles also reduce the time that it takes to get from one place to another compared to public transport, which can save hours of valuable life. This extra time can be used to spend with friends or family.
In the early years of the 20th century, a variety of manufacturers competed for market share. The American automotive industry grew rapidly, mainly because of the invention of mass production by Henry Ford and the consolidation of automakers into the “Big Three” by the 1920s. The American automobile industry also had a competitive advantage because of its large size and the wide availability of cheap raw materials and labor.
After the two world wars automobile makers added features such as electric ignition and self-starter, power steering and brakes to their post-war models. As automobile production accelerated in the 1950s and 1960s big, gas-guzzling road cruisers dominated the market. These big cars provided higher profits per unit but at a high price to society in terms of air pollution and a drain on dwindling world oil reserves.
By the 1970s, manufacturers began to respond to government regulations relating to safety, pollution and energy consumption. They also responded to escalating gasoline prices. The result was that the era of the annually restyled road cruisers ended and was replaced by small, functionally designed, fuel-efficient cars.
The Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid balances efficiency with style and the Kia Niro fuel cell car offers the ultimate in green technology. In addition to these new models there are still lots of traditional sedans and sports cars on the market today that combine good looks with efficiency and affordability. These include the Honda Accord, Subaru BRZ, Volkswagen Golf and Mazda MX-5 Miata. Millions of people around the world work in factories that produce cars and millions more work at the gas stations, restaurants and motels that travelers stop at.