Automobiles are a significant part of the modern world. They facilitate people to go about their daily life without relying on the expensive but not directly controlled public transportation systems. They have opened up new possibilities for the human race and increased the amount of places that one can reach within a short time span.
Throughout the history of automobiles, they have been subject to a number of problems and controversies such as their nonfunctional styling, safety issues, environmental concerns with gas-guzzling vehicles, draining world oil reserves and more. These problems have slowed down automobile production and brought it to a halt at times, but have also resulted in new technical developments like the assembly line by Ransom Eli Olds and the Model T made by Henry Ford.
The first automobiles were constructed from converted horse carriages. Edouard Delamare-Deboutteville and Leon Malandin of France built a vehicle with an internal combustion engine in 1883, but it was destroyed in its first test run due to the tank hose bursting. Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach of Germany used a two-stroke Otto gasoline engine in their car in 1885, but it did not prove to be as successful as Karl Benz’s four-stroke, liquid-fueled motorwagen which was designed and built as an automobile. It was patented in Mannheim, Germany on 29 January 1886.
An automobile consists of the chassis, engine, transmission system and body. The chassis is the skeleton of the vehicle and supports all the other components. The body is the superstructure that goes on top of the chassis and can be a fixed or removable part depending on the end-use of the automobile.