Automobiles are a large part of our everyday life, and they perform many functions for us. They can carry us and our belongings from place to place, and they can give us a means of transportation that is more comfortable than walking. They can also help us get to work and school, and they can take us to see friends or family. They are used for both passenger and cargo transport, and they play a vital role in our society today.
Automobile engineering is the branch of Engineering that deals with the design and manufacturing of automobiles. The modern automotive industry is a complex system that employs thousands of subsystems, each with its own specific design function. Some of these subsystems are built using breakthrough technologies such as electronic computers, high-strength plastics, and new alloys of steel and nonferrous metals. Others are based on advancements in the basic science of mechanics, physics, and fluid dynamics.
Karl Benz, a German engineer, is credited with inventing the first automobile in 1885. Other engineers and inventors worked on various designs in the years that followed, and the automobile became a staple of American life in the early 1900s.
The automobile has a huge impact on our lives, but it is not without its drawbacks. Automobiles pollute our environment, and they cause traffic congestion when too many people try to drive on the same roads at the same time. People can reduce the amount of pollution they produce by driving fuel-efficient cars and using public transportation, such as buses, trains, trams, or subways.
Modern cars are designed to be safe for their passengers. There are several safety features that are standard in all cars, including seat belts, airbags, and antilock brakes. They are also equipped with sensors that can detect when the car is going off the road and adjust the vehicle’s braking and acceleration automatically. Some cars are also equipped with cameras that can monitor the driver’s blind spot.
Some cars are built to be utilitarian, while others are designed for luxury and performance. SUVs, crossovers, and sedans all have their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, a sedan can offer car-like handling and fuel economy, but it may not have the cargo space that some people need. An SUV or crossover, on the other hand, can offer both utility and off-road capability. But these vehicles can be heavy and expensive to operate.
A car can be a symbol of freedom and independence, and it can be used to advocate for social change. For example, in 1916 two women—Nell Richardson and Alice Burke—made a cross-country trip to promote their cause of equal rights for women. They decorated their car with banners that said “votes for women.” This was a bold move at a time when it was still extremely unusual to see women driving.