Having your own automobile gives you the freedom to travel when and where you want. This means that you don’t have to worry about people taking up your personal space in a crowded bus (think social distancing) or be stuck with bad weather, as your car will get you where you need to go no matter what. In fact, having a car today would make it hard to imagine life without one.
The modern automobile is usually powered by a liquid-cooled, piston-type internal combustion engine with four wheels and is fueled most often by gasoline or a similar petroleum product. However, there are also electric cars that use battery power to move at low speeds and hybrids that can operate in both electric and gasoline-powered modes.
Automobiles have been part of the American landscape for over a century. Karl Benz, a German engineer, invented the first gasoline-powered vehicle around 1885 and was followed by businessman Henry Ford who innovated industrial manufacturing techniques that revolutionized automotive production. This helped bring down the price of his Model T and made it affordable to middle class families.
The car transformed American society by giving the middle classes a way to escape the confines of the city and visit family and friends in rural areas. It opened the door for businesses to establish themselves in towns and cities across the country. In addition, the ability to transport goods and products over long distances has greatly facilitated global commerce. The auto industry continues to be a major employer and contributes to economic development and well-being in many countries.