Automobiles are a type of vehicle with a combustion engine. They are a vital part of our society and can be seen everywhere, from the design of our cities to personal uses such as vacation travel.
They are made of many different parts and systems that work together to make them run, keep them safe and help them reduce pollution. Some of these include the engine, fuel system, exhaust system, cooling system, lubrication system, electrical system, transmission and chassis.
Special vehicles are designed for specific purposes. For example crane vehicles are used at construction sites, road rollers are used in road construction and emergency automobiles are used to rescue people from accidents.
The first automobiles were not very reliable and required frequent maintenance and repairs. They also cost a lot of money to buy and operate.
In the early 1900s, the American automobile industry was dominated by a few major companies. The Ford Motor Company, founded by Henry Ford in 1908, was the largest.
Mass production techniques, developed by Ford, allowed automobile manufacturers to produce reliable cars at relatively low prices. This helped make them within reach of a wider American middle-class.
By the 1920s, the automobile industry had become a dominant force in the American economy and culture. Among its most significant effects were the shift of manufacturing from a low-skilled to an affluent industry and the creation of new industrial jobs.
The American automobile culture emerged as a powerful symbol of individualism, personal freedom and mobility. It was reflected in such popular activities as drive-in facilities, automobile races, hot rodders, antique automobile buffs and recreational vehicle enthusiasts.