What Are Automobiles?
Automobiles are a type of wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. By definition, automobiles are vehicles that run on roads and seat one to eight people. They typically have four wheels and are used primarily for transportation. There are many different types of cars, but most cars are considered passenger vehicles. Read on to learn more about these vehicles.
Development of internal combustion engines
The internal combustion engine is one of the most significant innovations in automobiles. Developed in the 18th century, this engine is responsible for the increased power and performance of modern cars. Many renowned inventors and engineers were involved in the development of this engine. The two world wars changed the performance demands for automobiles. In the ensuing decades, several innovations took place.
Although internal combustion engines have been around for more than 120 years, some automakers are moving away from them. For example, Toyota and Honda have recently announced they would no longer make traditional internal combustion vehicles after 2040. And Japan is considering banning traditional internal combustion cars by the mid-2030s. As a result, battery EVs and plug-in hybrids are expected to take their place.
Development of mass production techniques
In the mid-19th century, Henry Ford figured out how to create a mass-produced automobile. He incorporated the assembly line, which moved parts along a belt, and made them interchangeable. The production line helped cut the price of the Model T and allowed more people to purchase the car. It was an enormous improvement, and it helped Ford produce more cars in less time.
Mass production techniques became a permanent part of the Ford company. This system allowed them to change the model of their cars on a regular basis, which made them more affordable and sparked a car craze. Ford’s success led other manufacturers to adopt mass production techniques, including General Motors. Sloan also began introducing new models annually, which made them even more affordable for the average consumer.
Social costs of increased air pollution
Automobiles contribute to nearly a third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions, making them one of the leading causes of global warming. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, cars and light-duty trucks will emit approximately 941 million tons of CO2 in 2020, and diesel vehicles will contribute an additional 432 million tons. In all, automobile emissions will cost the country between $10.7 billion and $41.6 billion per year. These costs include medical costs, lost productivity, property damage, legal and court costs, and emergency services. And these costs are not only borne by the individuals and corporations who drive automobiles – they are also absorbed by the government and insurance companies.
Automobiles also contribute to visual pollution and intrusion, as they disrupt the natural landscape. The paved landscape for roads and high-rising cement interchanges, fast food restaurants, strip malls, and car washes, along with signs and billboards at automobile level, are a visual assault on our aesthetic sensibilities.
Social costs of increased oil consumption
The increased use of fossil fuels in automobiles has many negative social consequences. Not only are automobile emissions contributing to global warming, but so are carbon emissions. These emissions lead to climate change, increased flooding, and drought, and a wide range of other problems. They also lead to the loss of biodiversity and increased water-borne diseases. A recent study by the U.S. government developed an estimate of the social costs of carbon emissions.
Nonmonetary externalities are costs that are not accounted for in economic transactions. They include the costs of gasoline and road maintenance and the time and money spent on travel. These are costs that people do not pay directly, but are incurred as a result of using automobiles.