History of the Automobile

Cars truly make life more convenient and comfortable. It is no doubt that around 73 million cars were produced in this year alone. 74% of total motor vehicle production is comprised of cars.

The utilization of oil and gas in cars has saved its primary market. It was discovered that fuel is a more practical source of energy for automobiles. Because of this, filling stations spread around the world. This infrastructure required the boring of oil wells in cities, including Oklahoma, with the use of oil tools. These made oil and gas more accessible to the growing population of cars.

However, the modern car wasn’t always like this. For instance, the first automobile was steam-powered, and the steering wheel wasn’t invented until the year 1900.

The beginning

In 1769, the first self-propelled road vehicle–a tractor–was created by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in France and was used by the French army. By 1789, the steam-powered land vehicle was patented, but it wasn’t until 12 years later that Richard Trevithick invented the first steam-powered non-railroad vehicle.

An internal combustion engine took 40 years and three engineers to succeed. The said engine was used in the “horseless carriage” invented in 1863. Years later, the engine was developed to use fuel and gasoline as sources of energy.

In 1877, Nikolaus August Otto created the four-cycle internal combustion engine, the prototype for the car engines we know now. Two years later, the automobile was patented, but it looked like a wagon with an engine.

The evolution of the automobile

Karl Benz created the first automobile in 1885. It looked like a carriage, but instead of a horse, it was an engine and a tire. The automobile only had three wheels until Gottlieb Wilhelm Daimler, and Wilhelm Maybach built the first four-wheeled automobile.

In 1913, Ford’s production of Model T exponentially increased. By 1927, 15 million units had been sold, and the production was halted. This was the beginning of the mass-production of cars. It also made cars more affordable.

The steering wheel was introduced in 1900, the car radio in 1924, seatbelts in 1959, airbags in 1974.

The car as we know it

cars inside a shop

Since the 80s, cars have slowly integrated more modern touches that incorporates technological developments. As a result, cars now have keyless doors, electric windows, and sunroofs. Car radios evolved to CD players, then MP3 players, until the wireless Bluetooth sound system.

Over time, cars have become smarter. GPS tells the driver how to get to their destinations. Just a click of a button can start the engine. In 2013, huge automobile companies such as Ford, Mercedes Benz, and BMW started developing self-driving cars. At this point, cars can avoid accidents, independently steer, and stay within lanes.

It’s fascinating to look back and see how far we’ve come when it comes to automobile development. If you were there when the first automobile was invented, you wouldn’t have thought a day would come that cars would be able to drive on their own. Like every piece of technology, the car has to start somewhere.

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