Automobiles are the most popular means of personal transportation. Most are powered by an internal combustion engine using a liquid fuel such as gasoline, although some use electric motors. The engine converts the fuel into mechanical energy that turns the wheels to propel the car forward or backward, up or down hills.
The automobile is one of the most important inventions in human history. It transformed our way of life and created new industries and jobs. It ended rural isolation and brought urban amenities, including schools and medical care, to small towns. It also paved the way for suburbs and suburban living. Today, most Americans depend on cars to get them to work and to travel for leisure and family activities.
Invented in the late 1800s, the automobile was perfected by engineers such as Karl Benz and Henry Ford, who improved production methods. By 1920, companies such as Ford, General Motors and Chrysler dominated the industry. The automobile transformed our culture by creating new leisure activities such as hotels, restaurants and amusement parks, as well as new services like road construction and maintenance. It also prompted new laws and government regulations, such as seatbelts, highway rules, driver’s licenses and safety features. But the automobile also caused pollution and drained world oil supplies.
Most modern cars are designed for a specific purpose. Some are designed for off-road driving, while others are optimized for high speed and limited-access roads. The design of an automobile depends on a number of factors, including its weight and dimensions, the placement of the center of gravity, suspension characteristics and the size of its engine. There are also different body styles to choose from. Some are tall and boxy, while others are sleek and low. Other factors include the number of doors, engine power and speed capabilities.
As automobiles evolved, the design and function of their controls became more sophisticated. In addition to controls for the steering wheel and brakes, there are many more advanced systems such as electronic control units, onboard diagnostics and automatic transmissions. The automotive industry continues to innovate, producing clean and safe vehicles that are revolutionizing personal transportation.
In recent years, automotive manufacturers have invested billions in cutting-edge facilities to assemble millions of vehicles and major transportation infrastructure to export completed products to points across the country and around the globe. A robust automotive manufacturing sector supports thousands of American jobs and contributes to a strong economy.
The automotive industry provides a diverse array of career opportunities for people of all backgrounds and skillsets. The industry also offers a wide variety of training and education programs to prepare workers for future advancements in the automotive sector.
The automotive industry is a key player in the American economy, supporting 9.6 million jobs. The industry’s global footprint spans nearly every community in America. The automotive industry is also a powerful economic engine, helping to drive innovation and create jobs in other sectors of our society.