Automobiles are cars, trucks, vans and other vehicles for transporting people and things. Cars are often powered by internal combustion engines, but can also use electric motors. Special cars are designed for various purposes, such as military vehicles, cranes and forklifts.

The automobile revolutionized transportation. Before the automobile, most travel was limited to foot or animal power. The automobile gave people more freedom to explore the world and expand their horizons, but it also changed many aspects of society. It prompted new industries, such as fuel and tire manufacturing, as well as services like gas stations and convenience stores. In addition, it brought people closer together.

Karl Benz is generally credited with inventing the first automobile in 1885, but other inventors and engineers had worked on similar designs earlier. Gottlieb Daimler, for example, fitted his horse carriage with a four-stroke engine in 1886 and may have built two vehicles from scratch as automobiles.

Henry Ford’s introduction of the assembly line in 1913 greatly increased production and lowered costs, making it possible for middle-class families to afford an automobile. Other factors, including a greater demand for transportation and lower taxes than in Europe, also encouraged the growth of automotive manufacturing.

Having a car is considered a big part of the American lifestyle. It gives you the freedom to travel whenever and wherever you want, and it can help you save time when traveling. It also lets you avoid the discomfort of sitting in someone else’s personal space on a bus, and protects you from other people’s hygiene problems.

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