Automobiles, one of the most universal of modern technologies, have revolutionized our transportation and lifestyles. Whether it’s the smallest cars for local driving or a huge tractor-trailer truck for hauling goods across the country, automobiles have given us the mobility and flexibility to live and work in almost every area of our lives.
The automobile, based on an internal combustion engine, has been an important part of our culture since 1895, when Charles Duryea and Frank Duryea won the Times-Herald race in Springfield, Massachusetts. Although many inventors built experimental gasoline-fueled automobiles before the Duryeas, it was the Duryeas who first mass-produced a commercial automobile in the United States.
OVERVIEW OF AUTOMOBILE DESIGN
An automobile is made up of thousands of individual parts that are assembled to create the overall vehicle. The components are arranged in several semi-independent systems, each of which has a specific purpose and function. Each system must be compatible with the others so that the whole machine functions smoothly and efficiently as a whole.
Some of the components that are most common in automobiles include front and rear suspension systems, a fuel tank and gas injection system, and a power steering and braking system. Other major components include the engine, transmission, and computer controls.
A major factor in automobile design is the needs of the user. Generally, cars designed for fuel economy will have less powerful engines and a smaller size, while vehicles designed for speed may have more powerful engines and larger bodies.
The type of automobile also affects the arrangement and selection of component parts. For example, a car intended for heavy highway use will require a more powerful engine and a heavier body to provide better stability at high speeds.
Other features that may be included in an automobile’s design include air conditioning, seat-belts, and automatic transmission systems. These features can increase the comfort and safety of the driver and passengers while reducing noise and pollution.
OPENS UP THE WORLD
The automobile has given people a way to get around easily, which in turn has provided them with greater work opportunities and more places to live. It has also allowed leisure activities to grow, including restaurants, hotels and amusement parks.
OPENS UP THE ENVIRONMENT
The car’s exhaust and gasoline emissions have caused significant environmental problems. They have affected air quality and contaminated the water supply. The use of automobiles has facilitated the movement of large amounts of trash and garbage onto the streets, creating a new problem for traffic engineers and city planners.
CHANGES IN TECHNOLOGY
Technology in the automotive industry has made great advances, allowing automobile manufacturers to introduce hundreds of models each year. These changes have increased the amount of fuel that can be used in an automobile, reduced the weight of some vehicles, and enabled manufacturers to build smaller, lighter models.
In addition, new computer-aided engineering and manufacturing techniques have enabled manufacturers to reduce the time and cost of introducing a new automobile model. The introduction of these new technologies has helped the automotive industry grow into one of the world’s largest industries.