Automobiles, or motor vehicles, are an important part of modern society. They are the primary means of transportation for Americans, who travel over three trillion miles each year. But they also can be dangerous. People drive recklessly, and even though regulations have reduced the fatality rate, they’re still responsible for many injuries.
The term “automobile” came from the Greek word auto meaning “of itself.” It is a light, four-wheeled vehicle that is used to carry passengers and goods.
Modern automobiles are made from thousands of parts, and are designed to meet strict safety standards. These regulations help improve the overall efficiency of the vehicle, as well as reduce emissions and fuel consumption.
The first automobiles were created in Germany and France in the late 1800s. Originally, they were bicycle-like contraptions. Later, a man named Edward Butler built the first commercial three-wheeler. This machine had a horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engine and a drive chain from the rear wheel to the front.
After World War II, automobile production skyrocketed in Japan. By the 1970s, Japanese cars outstripped U.S. autos in sales. As a result, a quota system was set up between the two countries to keep imports of Japanese automobiles under control.
In the United States, the auto industry was in decline in the early 1980s. Prices of gasoline rose. Oil shortages in the 1970s also increased prices of gas.
During the 1990s, the auto industry returned to its former strength. Automakers began to focus on bringing new designs and technology to the market. Also, they invested heavily in research and development.