Automobiles are a form of transportation. In the 19th century, the first cars were mass produced. In 1913, the United States produced 485,000 motor vehicles. The mass production process led to the production of standardized parts. This resulted in mass production of many commodities, including sewing machines, bicycles, and firearms.

Autonomous vehicles

Autonomous vehicles, also known as driver-less cars, or robotic cars, incorporate vehicular automation, the ability to sense and move safely without human input. Such vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and will likely replace many human drivers in the near future.

Mass production techniques

The invention of the automobile marked a turning point in the development of mass production techniques. Henry Ford, who created the Model T, implemented a moving assembly line, which enabled workers to do a single repetitive task at a time. This simplified the building process and reduced labor costs. His new assembly line was officially inaugurated on December 1, 1913.

Body-on-frame construction

Body-on-frame construction is the traditional way of constructing automobiles. In this method, the body is attached to a frame which also accommodates the powertrain. For instance, a pickup truck has a separate frame for its bed. This allows for easy visibility of the bed.

Electric cars

Although the market is still relatively small, electric cars are becoming more popular in recent years. Toyota, for example, has made it clear that it is committed to building battery-powered cars in the future. Other automakers have followed suit and announced plans to build all-electric vehicles.

Hybrid cars

Hybrid cars combine the efficiency of a gasoline engine with the convenience of an electric motor to help reduce fuel consumption. While a full hybrid can drive itself, a mild hybrid has an electric motor that assists the gasoline engine. This improves fuel efficiency and performance, while also assisting the vehicle’s automatic start-stop system, which shuts off the engine when the car is at rest.

General Motors

General Motors is an American multinational automobile manufacturing company. It is headquartered in Detroit, Michigan, and is one of the largest companies in the United States. The company has been the world’s leading automaker for 77 years. In 2008, however, it lost its top spot to Toyota.

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