The Evolution of Automobiles

Developed in France and Germany in the late 1800s, automobiles were first mass produced in the United States by the first half of the twentieth century. Henry Ford, a Detroit auto magnate, revolutionized the industry by implementing mass production techniques. By the 1920s, Ford, General Motors and Chrysler had become the “Big Three” auto companies. As the world entered World War II, many manufacturers shifted their attention and resources toward the war effort. However, once the war ended, automobile production in the United States, Japan, and Europe began to boom. By 1980, automobiles had become a global industry.

Modern automobiles

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Development of external combustion engines

External combustion engines are engines that use fuel to move a piston or crankshaft. The combustion process occurs in the engine and is limited by the heat of combustion and the rate at which the fuel and air are consumed. There are a number of methods used to increase the efficiency of an external combustion engine, including stratified-charge combustion and exhaust-gas recirculation.

Changes in controls in cars

Several changes have occurred in cars in recent years. One of these has been the introduction of the cruise control function. Its operation can be automated, which allows drivers to pay more attention to the road ahead. This feature makes it easier to drive long distances while maintaining the same level of safety.

Impact on animals

Animals and automobiles collide more often than people think. In fact, one to two million collisions with wildlife occur each year in the United States. These collisions can be devastating and endanger the lives of animals and humans. In response, state and local transportation agencies are working to reduce the impacts of these collisions. These collisions also have societal and ecological costs.

Impact on plants

The manufacturing of automobiles produces a complex mix of airborne pollutants that have a significant impact on plants. These emissions damage plants by blocking photosynthesis and clogging leaves. Vehicles also produce a huge amount of waste.

Safety standards for automobiles

Safety standards for automobiles are an important part of the vehicle safety system. The goal is to reduce crashes and injuries. In response to an increase in traffic accidents and injuries, the government passed the Safety Act of 1966. It established minimum standards for automobile safety in the United States.