Automobiles are self-propelled, motor vehicles designed primarily for passenger transportation that are propelled by an internal combustion engine powered most often by gasoline (a petroleum product). Modern automobiles are complex technical systems incorporating thousands of component parts. They are characterized by their use of high-strength materials such as steel and plastic, advanced electronics and information technologies, new alloys of metals and nonferrous metals, and a variety of advanced engineering systems and design functions.

The development of the automobile has been one of the most significant factors shaping American history. Once an elite luxury, the automobile ushered in an era of mass personal “automobility” and made it possible for people to live in the cities they worked in and visit their families in rural areas. As a major consumer of steel and petroleum, automobiles also revolutionized the ancillary industries that supported them. By the 1920s, the industry ranked first in value of product and provided one out of every six jobs in America.

In the late nineteenth century, European manufacturers produced a sophisticated machine that promised to revolutionize automotive transportation. At the same time, Ransom E. Olds was producing a model that looked and functioned much like the horse-drawn carriage from which it was derived. Eventually, the Americans developed production techniques that allowed them to offer state-of-the-art design at a reasonable price and became dominant producers of automobiles. Henry Ford innovated a system of mass production that dominated the industry until the advent of Japan’s automakers in the 1950s.

By the end of the twentieth century, most households in the United States owned at least one automobile and a majority of them owned more than one. By 1980, the automobile had supplanted railroads as the most common means of long-distance transport and was in the process of supplanting aviation. Although the automobile has become a fixture of modern life, it is no longer a progressive force for change. It has been replaced by other consumer-oriented products such as the electronic media, the laser, the computer, and the robot.

If you own an automobile, you can move from place to place at will and be free from the constraints of public transportation and the inconveniences of ride-sharing services. Owning a car makes it easier to apply for new jobs, move, visit friends and family, and enjoy hobbies. The only drawback of owning an automobile is the unpredictability of traffic and the difficulty of finding parking. But, with a little planning, you can avoid this hassle and have a safe and comfortable ride each and every day. Invest in the right car insurance and have peace of mind with the knowledge that you and your passengers will be protected on the road. Click here for an instant automobile insurance quote and get started on the road to protection today!