How Automobiles Have Changed the Way People Travel

Since their creation in the late 19th century, automobiles have changed the way people travel. They have created jobs, helped cities expand and allowed people to live in places far away from home. But they have also caused pollution, contributed to car accidents and destroyed the world’s natural resources.

The scientific and technical building blocks of the modern car go back several hundred years. The first steam cars were made by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in 1769 and by Francois Isaac de Rivaz in 1808. The automobile grew to popularity after Karl Benz invented the gas-powered internal combustion engine that produced power for the wheels and electricity for lights. But it took Henry Ford to make automobiles affordable for most Americans. Ford used the idea of an assembly line to allow him to produce cars at a much lower cost. He also lowered prices by paying his workers a fair wage of $5 a day, when most were paid only $2 a day.

Today, automobiles are the most common form of transportation. There are millions of them on the roads worldwide, and the demand for them is rising every year. Automobiles come in many shapes and sizes, from compact sedans to large SUVs. But there are also trucks, buses and limousines — all of which are considered automobiles because they run on four wheels.

For those who want to enjoy the thrill of driving a fast car, there are sports cars. Developed to bring the speed and excitement of motorsport to the streets, they have evolved into more-talented all-rounders that place the driver at the center of the action.