Generally, the term “automobile” is used to describe a motor vehicle with four or more wheels. It is used for passenger transportation, but also for goods transportation. Automobiles are usually powered by an internal combustion engine, but some are also powered by an electric motor. Modern automobiles are extremely complex technical systems that employ thousands of component parts. They have been designed to improve their performance, safety, and fuel consumption.
Automobiles began as bicycle-like contraptions during the mid-Victorian era. Bicycle builders such as Sylvester Howard Roper and Ernest Michaux made similar machines. However, it was not until 1885 that the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine was invented in Germany. This invention represented a significant technological advancement for the era.
Today, automobiles are the most common form of transportation in the United States. Each year, Americans travel three trillion miles. During the twentieth century, the automobile industry grew rapidly. The automobile manufacturing industry was dominated by a few companies. The Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler Corporation formed the “Big Three” automakers. These three companies controlled 90 percent of the U.S. auto market by 1939.
The automobile industry experienced a decline in the early 1980s. In the late 1970s, the United States imposed a quota system on Japanese automakers, limiting imports of Japanese cars to a certain percentage of the market. As a result, Japanese automakers began to gain market share from U.S. auto manufacturers. The quota system increased the prices of Japanese cars.
In the 1990s, the United States auto industry began to recover from the decline. Automobiles became more affordable to middle-class families. Auto manufacturers were able to split the market into smaller segments, allowing them to compete more effectively.
New technologies have made automobiles more efficient. New manufacturing processes have also made them more stable. Today, automobiles have more complex safety and emission control systems. Automobiles also require more passenger comfort options. Automobiles are designed to be durable and withstand extreme operating conditions.
Automotive manufacturers employ scientists and research and development engineers. They improve their engines and bodies, develop new technologies, and improve their drivetrains. New designs are introduced more frequently. These innovations have made the automobile an extremely valuable Personal Property. However, automobiles are also the most expensive forms of Personal Property in the U.S.
Although the automobile is a popular form of transportation, automobiles can cause tremendous personal injury. They are often stolen and put drivers and passengers at risk. Automotive regulations are often not enough to keep the number of injuries down. There are still many deaths caused by motor vehicles each year.
Automotive manufacturers are required to meet strict manufacturing standards. These regulations can lead to offsetting behavior, such as drivers who drive more dangerously in order to meet the standards. Although strict manufacturing regulations help reduce the number of deaths caused by automobiles, many of these regulations don’t go far enough. Automobiles are also heavily taxed.