Automobiles are wheeled vehicles powered by engines that convert fuel into mechanical energy for propulsion. Most modern automobiles use gasoline, but some run on electricity or other liquid fuels such as alcohol or diesel fuel. The internal combustion engine, invented in the late 1600s, is the heart of the modern automobile. Inventors have tried many ways to make cars work well enough for daily use. Some early automobiles ran on steam, while others were driven by electric motors. By the late 1800s, some manufacturers had made cars that ran on a combination of steam and an internal combustion engine.
The modern automobile is the most widely used transportation vehicle in the world, with an estimated five trillion miles (seven trillion kilometres) being driven annually. Automobiles are the main means of transport for most people in industrialized nations, and they have radically transformed human life.
OPENS UP CHOICES
One of the biggest advantages of having an automobile is that it allows you to travel long distances with ease. Whether you are going to work, shopping, visiting friends or family or just enjoying the great outdoors, an automobile can take you where you want to go in a short amount of time. Without a car, you would need to take public transportation or travel by walking, hitching rides, taking trains or using the services of friends who have cars.
CAN IMPROVE WORKING AND PLAYING PRODUCTIVITY
For some people, their automobile is the primary means of getting them to work or school and back again. It can also help them to spend more time with friends and relatives, as they can go on day trips or even longer vacations. The automobile is a big contributor to the development of leisure activities and services such as hotels, restaurants, amusement parks and fast food outlets.
AUTOMOBILES CAN ALSO IMPROVE BUSINESS PRACTICES: The automobile makes it much easier to move goods and services across long distances, which can increase market share in competitive industries. In addition, it can improve communications and the speed with which information is passed between different locations.
THE AUTOMOBILE IS AN EXPENSIVE CONSUMER GOOD
Automobiles are expensive consumer goods, but the demand for them is enormous. In the United States, for example, they accounted for one out of six jobs in the 1920s and were the major customer for dozens of ancillary industries such as petroleum, steel, and rubber. Ford and other American companies pioneered mass production techniques that reduced the cost of the automobile and helped it to become a major consumer item for a growing middle class. This created an unprecedented seller’s market for a new type of consumer product, and it caused the emergence of a huge range of businesses and government services such as police, fire, highway construction and road design. Automobiles also brought pollution, air congestion and a drain on the world’s dwindling oil reserves. Despite these drawbacks, the automobile has revolutionized the lives of many people and continues to do so today.