Automobiles are among the most popular means of transportation. They are used to carry goods, people and passengers. However, they are also extremely expensive and can be very dangerous. Therefore, they have been heavily taxed.
Modern automobiles are highly sophisticated technical systems with thousands of parts. Manufacturers employ scientists and engineers to improve their bodies and their drivetrains. These improvements help to reduce emissions and increase the safety of the cars. This is a good thing, because they are responsible for much of the air pollution that we all experience in our daily lives.
In the late 1800s, a man named Edward Butler built a three-wheeled contraption that could be used to haul goods. The design was similar to a bicycle, but it included a horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engine. It also had a chain drive to the rear wheel.
As the technology improved, auto manufacturers began to introduce new designs. Chrome and other industrial materials transformed the headlamps, grilles, instrument panels, hood ornaments and other parts of the car.
The first automobile in the United States was manufactured by Ford Motor Company in 1908. It was called the Model T. Later, the company would become the leading manufacturer of autos in the world. After World War II, Japan became a major competitor in the auto industry. By the 1970s, auto production in the U.S. was eclipsed by that of Japanese cars.
In the early 1980s, the auto industry was in crisis. Several companies suffered greatly. Oil shortages and embargoes caused the price of gasoline to rise. Citizens began to rely more on imported autos.
Auto safety experts have argued that regulation of automobile manufacture only goes so far. Instead, the best way to reduce the number of motor vehicle injuries is to require automakers to design safer cars.
Aside from being extremely difficult to build, automobiles are also expensive to purchase. They typically have the highest value of any personal property in the U.S. Because of the large numbers of components that make up an automobile, it is not possible to build a cheaper version of the same machine. Thus, most Americans pay high prices for their vehicles.
Despite their high costs, automobiles are still popular. Approximately 70 million passenger cars are built each year around the world. Moreover, they serve as a vital part of modern society. An average American travels more than three trillion miles each year. And, the automobile is considered the most valuable type of Personal Property in the U.S.
There are many ways in which automobiles improve our quality of life. Some of these include the use of air bags. Air bags, which are designed to form a cushion to protect occupants from hitting the windshield, are effective at reducing the number of motor vehicle fatalities.
Other innovations in auto manufacturing include the invention of the electric push-button starter. Eventually, kick starters will be replaced with electric ones. Another invention that has had a huge impact on the automotive industry is the use of fuel cell vehicles.