Automobiles and the Environment

Automobiles are a very important part of the world’s economy. They make it possible for people to go to work and other places more quickly than they can walking or riding a bicycle. They are also safer than taking a bus or train and they allow people to spend more time with their families. However, automobiles can also cause problems because they can be dangerous if they crash and can cause air pollution when too many are used in a small area like a city. There are ways to make the use of automobiles less harmful, such as by building better roads and using more fuel-efficient engines.

The word “automobile” comes from the Latin words “auto” (self) and “mobilis” (moving). An automobile is a wheeled vehicle that is primarily used for passenger transportation. It is powered by an internal combustion engine that uses a volatile fuel. It is much faster than a bicycle or a bus and it can carry more people than a horse-drawn carriage or wagon. The average automobile travels over three trillion kilometers (five trillion miles) every year in the United States alone.

Most automobiles are powered by gasoline. The first modern automobile was invented by Karl Benz in 1886, but it was not affordable for most people to own until Henry Ford introduced his Model T in 1910. Ford revolutionized car manufacturing with his assembly line and made his automobile cheap enough for most middle class families to afford. Earlier vehicles included steam-powered cars built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769 and electric automobiles that used a battery to power an electric motor.

After World War II automobiles started to have more features, including heaters and windows that opened and closed by themselves. Automakers started to make more compact automobiles as well. In 1973 oil-producing countries began to raise prices for their oil, which made people think about ways to conserve and save gasoline. This made people want to buy smaller, more efficient automobiles.

Automobiles are getting more and more computerized and may eventually be able to drive themselves. This would save on gas and make driving more comfortable. The computerized automobile could also help with safety because it wouldn’t be distracted by things such as cell phones or music. Until then people need to learn how to drive these powerful machines safely. Hopefully, someday the world will be free from accidents caused by automobiles. When this happens people will be able to spend more time doing things they enjoy, such as visiting their family and friends and going to the beach. Then they can take a break from the stress of daily life on their own terms.