An automobile is a vehicle designed to carry passengers and goods. It is a four-wheeled, self-propelling mechanical machine with a drive train. They are usually used for transportation, commerce, or pleasure. Automobiles are one of the most popular means of transportation in the world. Approximately 70 million passenger cars are manufactured worldwide each year.
The invention of the internal combustion engine in 1885 represented a major technological advance for the automobile industry. This technology allowed car manufacturers to create new and better vehicles. Today, automobiles are widely accepted as the most common form of transportation in the world. However, autos are a cause of serious air pollution. In addition, autos are expensive to purchase and are also a favorite target for thieves.
Modern automobiles are complex technical systems with many thousands of component parts. Their design and construction depend on the intended use. They are also highly regulated by government. Typically, auto manufacturers employ research and development engineers, scientists, and others to improve the design, safety, and performance of their vehicles.
Automakers are required to follow strict regulations to control the emissions of hydrocarbons and nitric oxides. Strict limits on these substances are imposed by the European Union and California. Although auto manufacturers are obligated to make their vehicles safer, many drivers continue to put their lives and others at risk by violating these regulations.
Increasing demand for automobiles led to the creation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This agency was given the responsibility of enforcing automobile safety standards and coordinating state programs that improve driver behavior. These regulations are designed to reduce motor vehicle fatalities.
The automobile industry suffered greatly during the early 1980s. But in the 1990s, the auto industry started to recover and became more competitive. Manufacturers began to introduce new designs and models more often. A higher per capita income contributed to the increasing demand for automobiles in the U.S. Over time, the auto industry began to break up into smaller segments.
The first automobiles were bicycle-like contraptions. Two German engineers developed the first commercially marketed motorcycles in 1894. After the World War II, production in Europe and Japan increased. By the end of the twentieth century, the Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Chrysler Corporation were the “Big Three” automakers.
As automobiles became more popular in the United States, consumers began relying more on imported cars. At the same time, the cost of gasoline increased. This resulted in a price hike for smaller automobiles. The United States also entered into a quota system with Japan, which limited the amount of Japanese automobiles that could enter the country.
In 2006, new motorcycles in the United States were restricted to 12.0 grams of carbon monoxide and 1.4 grams of hydrocarbons per km. While these regulations are important, they are only a portion of the problem. Many people fail to realize that the biggest contributor to auto injuries is not the strict manufacturing standards but the way the vehicles are driven.