The Automobile Industry


The automobile is a self-propelled vehicle used for transportation on land. It has four or more wheels and is powered by an internal combustion engine fuelled most often by gasoline (petrol), although it may be driven by other liquids or electricity. It is one of the most universal of modern technologies, manufactured by an industry that ranks as one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing. Its influence reaches into every aspect of society.

The technical building blocks of the automobile date back several hundred years. The first “horseless carriages” were essentially horse-drawn wagons with engines added. In the late 1800s steam, electric, and gasoline-powered cars competed for dominance in the United States automobile market, with gas-powered vehicles gaining a decisive lead in the early 1900s. In the 1920s the automobile became a powerful force for change in America, serving as the foundation of a new consumer goods-oriented society. Its demands created jobs, stimulated ancillary industries such as steel and petroleum, and contributed to the development of new industrial processes such as mass production.

Modern automobiles are complex systems of thousands of interdependent parts. They are designed to operate at high speeds, to provide a comfortable ride for passengers, and to meet the specific needs of various driving conditions. Some of the most important automobile systems are the power train, engine, electrical system, cooling and lubrication system, transmission, and suspension and braking system.

Safety and comfort systems are also important to the operation of automobiles, and they often depend on the type of car and its intended use. For example, cars intended for off-road use require durable and simple systems that are resistant to severe overloads and extreme operating conditions. Cars that are designed to operate on limited-access road systems must be able to accommodate more passengers and offer more passenger comfort options, improved engine performance, optimized high-speed handling, and stability characteristics, as well as efficient brakes and wheels and tires.

Automobile accidents are almost as old as the automobile itself. The first documented automobile accident took place in 1771 when Joseph Cugnot crashed his steam-powered “Fardier” into a wall. By the 1910s automobiles had become widely adopted and, to maintain unit sales, manufacturers instituted annual design changes in order to keep pace with consumer expectations.

Today, the automobile provides a lifeline to many Americans. It allows them to work and to spend leisure time with family, friends, or in recreational activities. It also enables them to shop, dine out, visit hospitals and other medical facilities, and travel to vacation destinations. With such diverse uses, it is no wonder that the automobile has become one of the most fundamental and pervasive of human inventions. However, the era of the automobile as a progressive force for change is coming to an end, giving way to new technologies such as electronic media, the laser, and the computer. However, its importance in everyday life is still immense.

Posted in: Gamebling