Automobiles are a major part of modern life. Without them, people would be unable to travel long distances for work or to visit family and friends. In the United States alone, there are more than three trillion miles (4.8 billion kilometers) driven by automobiles each year.
Some of the most important advances in automobiles have been in the engines and motors that power them. The study of these machines is called automobile engineering. Other important advancements have been in the chassis, suspension, wheels, tires, safety features, and the various auxiliary devices that make driving easier and safer.
The first automobiles were steam engines attached to wagons in the late 18th century. These were slow and hard to control. But the development of new, lighter, and more powerful gasoline engines in the early 20th century gave automobiles their dominance on streets and highways. Henry Ford’s use of mass production made it possible for ordinary middle-class families to afford his Model T automobile.
AUTOMOBILES CAN BE POLLUTING: When too many automobiles try to go the same way at the same time, they can cause traffic congestion. And they can pollute the air with exhaust fumes, which contribute to climate change. Some governments regulate how much pollution an automobile can emit and have set limits on how much an automobile can be idling in a traffic jam.
AUTOMOBILES CAN BE INCAUSE OF INJURIES: Most automobile accidents involve human beings, and some of them are serious. To protect drivers and passengers, automobile manufacturers must constantly improve the safety features of their cars. Newer vehicles are more likely to have up-to-date technologies like side curtain airbags, anti-lock braking systems, and blind-spot monitoring. Governments regulate which safety features must be included in automobiles, and older models may not be road-legal unless they have these technologies.