The History of Automobiles

Automobiles are vehicles powered by gas or electricity that travel on road, rail or water. They are used for passenger transportation and freight transport. The automobile has revolutionized human civilization and society in many ways. People have more freedom of movement and can travel long distances to work, shopping, recreation and social activities. Cars also provide people with a means to be self-reliant and not have to depend on others for transportation.

The history of the automobile began with designs and prototypes in the late 1700s and 1800s. The first steam and electric cars were very primitive with a limited range.

Karl Benz of Germany is generally credited with inventing the first gasoline powered automobile in 1885. Henry Ford came along soon afterwards and invented the assembly line and Model T. This allowed cars to be made in larger quantities at a lower cost which made them more affordable to the public.

Automobile production has increased significantly since the first Model T. Research and development engineers have worked to improve the engine, chassis, safety features, fuel efficiency, electrical systems, transmission, and more.

In the US, high sales demand and a lack of tariff barriers encouraged the growth of large automotive firms in the United States. Cheap raw materials and a chronic shortage of skilled labor also helped to encourage the mechanization of manufacturing processes in America. These factors allowed the United States to produce cars at a far higher volume than Europe, making cars more affordable.