Automobiles have a long history and a great impact on human society. The history of cars can be traced to the early days of the internal combustion engine. The first car to be built with this engine was a Motorwagen in Mannheim, Germany in 1885. On 29 January 1886, Benz obtained a patent for this vehicle. He began a major company, Benz Motors, in 1883, and later created the first four-wheeler, a two-seater vehicle, powered by four-stroke engines.
Development of internal combustion engines
Development of internal combustion engines in automobiles begins in the 18th century. The first commercially successful engine was designed by Etienne Lenoir in 1860. Prior to this, several other worthy scientists and engineers made promising attempts. The engine was initially used to pump water in Croydon Canal.
The internal combustion engine is the heart of nearly every automobile on the road today. It replaced the old external combustion engines and steam engines, and is much more efficient. Today, there are more than 250 million cars and trucks that are powered by this type of engine.
Evolution of controls in modern cars
Controls in modern cars have evolved dramatically from the simple levers and knobs of yesteryear. A key-operated ignition-starter switch, for example, was first introduced by Chrysler in 1949. Earlier models of cars were equipped with an accelerator pedal on the right and a separate throttle control knob on the dashboard.
Driver assistance systems and connectivity/infotainment features have increased compute considerably. In the late 1990s, automakers incorporated advanced digital technology to improve car performance. This allowed them to sense the behaviour of other cars and react accordingly, avoiding collisions and maintaining lane positions. Voice recognition technology has also become common in cars today.
Impact on animals
The impact of automobiles on wildlife is a pressing concern for conservation efforts around the world. Collisions involving vehicles and wildlife cost 8 billion dollars a year and result in thousands of injuries and deaths. In the United States alone, collisions involving vehicles and wildlife result in the death of more than 3,000 animals every year.
Since the mid-20th century, cars have become the greatest human killer of wildlife. Today, one million vertebrates die on the road in the U.S., with an animal being killed every 12 seconds. Automobiles have greatly changed the way people live and hunt, making them less likely to spare wildlife. One motorist may only damage his grille by hitting a woodpecker, while another may cause serious injury or death.
The automotive industry is one of the largest contributors to the economy and supports over 6.6 million jobs in the US. These jobs are spread across various sectors, including manufacturing, sales, and service. However, few people realize the impact that automobiles have on the environment. Cars can release toxic chemicals into the environment, including mercury and lead. These chemicals remain in the environment for long periods of time, and can even accumulate in the food chain. The environmental impact of automobiles cannot be ignored, as approximately 12 million automobiles are discarded or junked every year in the US and Canada. Additionally, many metals from these vehicles are smelted, which releases pollutants into the environment.
This combustion process releases particulate matter and volatile organic compounds, including nitrogen oxides. These gases are harmful to the environment because they cause the formation of ozone. Ground-level ozone is a dangerous air contaminant that can harm plants and humans.