Automobiles (or cars) are the most popular form of personal transport in the world. They have made it possible for people to live and work in places far away from each other, and to travel widely for vacations or business.
An automobile is a vehicle powered by its own motor, which runs primarily on roads and has seating for one to six passengers. The term derives from Ancient Greek autos (“auto” or “self”) and Latin mobil (“movable”). An automobile is also called a car, a roadcar, a motorcar, or a sedan. Other types of automobiles include limousines, minivans, and SUVs.
Throughout the 20th century, Americans became ever more dependent on automobiles. The industry was the backbone of a new consumer-goods economy, and it accounted for more than half of all U.S. manufacturing output by the 1980s. It was the largest employer of steel and a major consumer of petroleum and other raw materials. And it was a powerful force for change in American life, providing the means for suburbanization and urban sprawl, decentralization of labor, broader distribution of leisure activities, and the rapid rise of a service sector.
While the automobile opened up new opportunities for people, it also brought many negative effects. Traffic jams and accidents increased, and air pollution was a problem. Undeveloped land was used to build highways and related industries, causing environmental degradation. The automobile also contributed to the spread of leisure activities, such as recreational travel and tourism, as well as fast food outlets.
With the development of the gasoline-powered automobile, manufacturers began to produce these vehicles in large numbers. With the help of the mass production techniques introduced by American automaker Henry Ford, the price of a Model T dropped to an affordable level for middle-class families.
By the 1960s, however, concerns about safety features and fuel efficiency arose. Some people criticized the nonfunctional styling of American cars, while others complained about the pollution and draining of world oil reserves caused by “gas guzzling” automobiles.
In the 1970s, automobile manufacturers developed models that were more fuel efficient and produced fewer emissions. This trend continued into the 1980s, when automobiles became more energy efficient and offered more safety features than ever before.
Today, automobile manufacturers continue to improve and innovate to stay ahead of the competition. For example, the latest BMW 7 Series has abandoned some of its sports car attributes in favor of comfort and luxury, while the Toyota Corolla hybrid offers a great amount of driving range on a single charge. As technology continues to advance, we will likely see more hybrids and electric cars on the road in the future. For more information on automobiles, you can visit the Testbook app or download our SSC JE Mechanical mock tests and JE ME Previous Years Papers. You can also get enrolled in our AE/JE Mechanical coaching to learn everything about automobiles. Then, you can appear for SSC JE Mechanical exam with confidence.