A Guide to Automobiles


Whether you’re commuting to work, running errands or visiting friends and family, having your own automobile allows you to travel quickly and easily. But owning a car can also come with some costs, including fuel and maintenance. Plus, you’ll have to deal with traffic.

The automobile was largely perfected in Germany and France toward the end of the 19th century by such men as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz and Nicolaus Otto. It was also at this time that Henry Ford introduced production methods that reduced the cost of his Model T runabout, making it affordable for middle-class Americans.

Automobiles are powered by either an internal combustion engine or electric motors. The latter run quietly and smoothly but cannot achieve very high speeds. The internal combustion engine, on the other hand, can propel cars rapidly to impressive speeds and can be operated by ordinary people.

Automobiles must meet specific requirements for design, manufacturing and performance. For example, they must be able to withstand severe overloads and extreme operating conditions. Passenger comfort options and high-speed handling are other important considerations. They must also have clear visibility and be aesthetically attractive. To maintain a competitive edge, manufacturers must continually research and develop new technical developments. Consequently, there is no shortage of innovative and attractive automobiles to choose from. This is especially true in recent years, when compact cars have emerged with superior performance, interior quality and technology, transforming them from penalty boxes to truly desirable vehicles.