How Automobiles Open Up the World

Automobiles have made it possible for millions of people to live farther from where they work and to explore new areas. But they also create problems like pollution and require a large amount of energy to run. People who use cars have a lot of free time to do things they enjoy, but there are other ways to spend time too.


The automobile allows people to travel long distances and visit more places. They can visit friends and family, go on vacations, and have more job opportunities. People can even move to another city if it is better for their career.

Initially, the automobile was powered by external combustion engines such as steam or gasoline. In the late 1800s the internal combustion engine was perfected by Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz and Nikolaus Otto. During this period, several people set up car factories. In 1908 Henry Ford started production in his factory using a moving assembly line where each worker had one task and the parts passed along conveyor belts from station to station. The Model T was the first mass-produced automobile and the Ford Motor Company grew to be the largest producer in the world.

In the 1920s manufacturers funneled their resources into war preparation, but after the war they returned to producing automobiles. The Model T stayed in production until 1927 and fifteen million were produced. This allowed the middle class to get their own cars.

The automotive industry created many jobs. Workers worked in the factories that built them and in gas stations, restaurants and motels where travelers stopped. Some people even made a living by racing cars and selling parts for them.

Cars are complicated machines that consist of many different systems that work together. The heart of the automobile is the engine which sends power to the wheels and electricity for lights and other devices. The engine is fueled by the chemical energy in gasoline or electrical energy from batteries. How much energy the engine can provide is measured in kilowatts or horsepower.

In addition to the people who drive or race cars, there are other kinds of special automobiles such as fire engines and ambulances which rescue people in accidents. Other automobiles help carry goods and equipment, such as crane vehicles at construction sites and fork-lifts in warehouses.

The automobile is a symbol of the promise and pitfalls of modern life. In the first part of the 20th century, it opened up the world for everyone by allowing people to travel long distances. But the freedom of the car also meant that people could leave their homes and travel anywhere they wanted at any time. This was a huge advantage for women who wanted to become more active in the political and social life of their communities. Women were able to get jobs and move around the country, including visiting cities to speak for women’s rights. Women could also drive themselves to important appointments without relying on someone else.