The Importance of Automobiles
An automobile is a vehicle used for passenger transportation and commonly powered by an internal combustion engine using a volatile fuel. It usually has four wheels and can be driven on paved roads. The word automobile comes from the Greek words
Before the automobile, people had to walk or ride a horse to get around. Many people lived far away from shops and markets. The automobile made it possible to shop and have a social life in the city as well as rural areas. It also opened up new vacation destinations for urban dwellers and helped people to rediscover pristine natural landscapes in rural areas.
Automobiles were initially powered by electricity or steam engines. Later they were powered by gasoline, diesel and kerosene. Most automobiles today are powered by an internal combustion engine that uses a volatile fuel to explode inside a cylinder and then pushes a piston down, turning the wheels of the car. The most common fuel is petroleum-based gasoline, or simply “gasoline”. Other types of automobiles include trucks, buses, racing cars and specialized vehicles such as fire engines, sanitary, mobile cranes, autoclaves and refrigerators.
The automobile has become a symbol of American freedom and individualism. It has also created a need for highways and new roadside businesses that sell fast food and beverages to drivers while they are on the road. Roadside restaurants have also popularized many quintessential American foods like hamburgers, french fries, milk shakes and apple pies.
It is believed that Karl Benz from Germany invented the first automobile. However, Henry Ford is credited with making the automobile affordable for most Americans. His mass production method, the assembly line, allowed him to make and sell millions of automobiles in a short period of time. Ford’s Model T was especially popular and is often credited with “putting America on wheels”.
While the automobile has had a positive impact on society, there are some negative effects as well. When too many automobiles use the same roadways, it can create traffic jams and accidents. Air pollution is another problem caused by automobiles. And, the energy needed to operate an automobile can cause damage to buildings and other infrastructure.
In order to reduce the number of automobiles, some cities have created public transportation systems that can get people where they need to go more quickly and cheaply than an automobile. As more people are moving to cities, the need for these systems will only increase. The development of new technology and materials will continue to improve the automobile, helping it to run more efficiently and cleanly than ever before.