Automobiles and Motorcycles
Thousands of component parts make up the modern automobile. The automobile is a complex technical system and serves as a lifeline for the human society. The vehicle is generally a four-wheeled vehicle with a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine.
The development of the modern automobile was a result of scientific breakthroughs and safety legislation. The automobile was originally conceived as a bicycle-like contraption. In the late 1800s, German engineer Karl Benz developed a petrol-powered car. His Benz-Motorwagen was patented in 1886. It weighed 14 pounds for each horsepower. It had a maximum speed of 53 miles per hour.
In the United States, the demand for automotive transportation rose due to economic development. Cheap raw materials and a lack of skilled labor encouraged mechanization of industrial processes. The automobile industry grew rapidly in the early twentieth century. The “Big Three” automakers, Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler, began to dominate the industry in the 1920s.
In the early days, the automobile was designed for passenger transportation on land. Later, it was used for goods transport. Nowadays, the automobile is primarily a vehicle for passenger transportation. It is the primary mode of transport for Americans. The United States produces one-quarter of all the world’s passenger cars. It has a population of around 4.8 trillion kilometers (three trillion miles) of road travel annually.
The first gasoline-powered automobile was invented in the United States by J. Frank and Charles Duryea in 1893. It was based on a horizontal single-cylinder gasoline engine. In 1895, the two won the first American car race. Their design was similar to the Stout Scarab, a design by William Bushnell Stout for his own engineering firm. It was a streamlined, beetle-like shape, and it was capable of carrying many passengers.
Several European and Asian manufacturers such as Volkswagen, BMW, and Hyundai have also entered the auto business. After World War II, the automobile production in Europe and Asia soared. The automobile industry became a global enterprise by the 1980s. In 2010, emissions from new motorcycles in the United States were limited to 0.8 grams of hydrocarbons and nitric oxides per km.
As a result of competition between various automobile manufacturers worldwide, the subsystems of an automobile have evolved. These subsystems include the body, drivetrain, engine, control systems, and chassis. As a result of the development of these subsystems, the automobile became a more complex technical system.
The vehicle’s stability depends on its weight distribution. There are two main types of engines: the front engine, which is located over the front axle, and the mid-engine, which is located in the rear. The rear engine is a little less common than the other types. The weight is distributed evenly between the front and rear of the vehicle.
The American manufacturing tradition made automobiles affordable for middle-class families. The first mass-produced automobile in the United States was the Model T, introduced by Henry Ford in 1908. In the mid-1920s, thirty American manufacturers produced over 2,500 motor vehicles. The price of the Model T was reduced by using assembly lines.