A CAR (or AUTOMOBILE) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for
transportation . Most definitions of car say they run primarily on
roads, seat one to eight people, have four tires , and mainly
transport people rather than goods. Cars came into global use during
the 20th century, and developed economies depend on them. The year
1886 is regarded as the birth year of the modern car, when German
Cars have controls for driving, parking, passenger comfort and safety, and controlling a variety of lights. Over the decades, additional features and controls have been added to vehicles, making them progressively more complex. Examples include rear reversing cameras, air conditioning , navigation systems , and in car entertainment . Most cars in use in the 2010s are propelled by an internal combustion engine , fueled by the combustion of fossil fuels . This causes air pollution and are also blamed for contributing to climate change and global warming . Vehicles using alternative fuels such as ethanol flexible-fuel vehicles and natural gas vehicles are also gaining popularity in some countries. Electric cars , which were invented early in the history of the car, began to become commercially available in 2008.
There are costs and benefits to car use. The costs include acquiring the vehicle, interest payments (if the car is financed), repairs and maintenance , fuel, depreciation , driving time, parking fees , taxes, and insurance. The costs to society include maintaining roads , land use , road congestion , air pollution, public health , health care, and disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life. Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths worldwide.
The benefits include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence, and convenience. The societal benefits include economic benefits, such as job and wealth creation from the automotive industry , transportation provision, societal well-being from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the taxes . The ability for people to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies. It was estimated in 2014 that the number of cars was over 1.25 billion vehicles, up from the 500 million of 1986. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China , India and other newly industrialized countries .
* 1 Etymology * 2 History * 3 Mass production * 4 Fuel and propulsion technologies * 5 User interface * 6 Lighting * 7 Weight * 8 Seating and body style * 9 Safety * 10 Costs and benefits * 11 Environmental impact
* 12 Emerging car technologies
* 13 Industry * 14 Alternatives * 15 Other meanings * 16 See also * 17 References * 18 Further reading * 19 External links
The word car is believed to originate from the Latin word carrus or
carrum ("wheeled vehicle"), or the
The word "automobile" is a classical compound derived from the
History of the automobile
The first working steam-powered vehicle was designed—and most likely built—by Ferdinand Verbiest , a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65-cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger. It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built. Cugnot's 1771 fardier à vapeur, as preserved at the Musée des Arts et Métiers , Paris
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is widely credited with building the first
full-scale, self-propelled mechanical vehicle or car in about 1769; he
created a steam-powered tricycle. He also constructed two steam
tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the French
National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts . His inventions were,
however, handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining
steam pressure. In 1801,
The development of external combustion engines is detailed as part of the history of the car , but often treated separately from the development of true cars. A variety of steam-powered road vehicles were used during the first part of the 19th century, including steam cars , steam buses , phaetons , and steam rollers . Sentiment against them led to the Locomotive Acts of 1865.
In November 1881, French inventor
Gustave Trouvé demonstrated the
first working (three-wheeled) car powered by electricity at the
International Exposition of Electricity, Paris . Although several
other German engineers (including
In 1879, Benz was granted a patent for his first engine, which had
been designed in 1878. Many of his other inventions made the use of
the internal combustion engine feasible for powering a vehicle. His
first Motorwagen was built in 1885 in
In 1896, Benz designed and patented the first internal-combustion flat engine , called boxermotor. During the last years of the nineteenth century, Benz was the largest car company in the world with 572 units produced in 1899 and, because of its size, Benz by the time of the merger of the two companies, Daimler and Maybach were no longer part of DMG. Daimler died in 1900 and later that year, Maybach designed an engine named Daimler-Mercedes that was placed in a specially ordered model built to specifications set by Emil Jellinek . This was a production of a small number of vehicles for Jellinek to race and market in his country. Two years later, in 1902, a new model DMG car was produced and the model was named Mercedes after the Maybach engine, which generated 35 hp. Maybach quit DMG shortly thereafter and opened a business of his own. Rights to the Daimler brand name were sold to other manufacturers.
Émile Levassor and
The first design for an American car with a gasoline internal
combustion engine was made in 1877 by George Selden of Rochester, New
York . Selden applied for a patent for a car in 1879, but the patent
application expired because the vehicle was never built. After a delay
of sixteen years and a series of attachments to his application, on 5
November 1895, Selden was granted a United States patent (U.S. Patent
549,160 ) for a two-stroke car engine, which hindered, more than
encouraged , development of cars in the United States. His patent was
In 1893, the first running, gasoline-powered American car was built
and road-tested by the
Duryea brothers of
Springfield, Massachusetts .
The first public run of the
Duryea Motor Wagon took place on 21
September 1893, on Taylor Street in Metro Center Springfield. The
In Britain, there had been several attempts to build steam cars with
varying degrees of success, with Thomas Rickett even attempting a
production run in 1860. Santler from Malvern is recognized by the
In 1892, German engineer
Large-scale, production-line manufacturing of affordable cars was
Ransom Olds in 1901 at his
As a result, Ford's cars came off the line in fifteen-minute intervals, much faster than previous methods, increasing productivity eightfold, while using less manpower (from 12.5-man-hours to 1 hour 33 minutes). It was so successful, paint became a bottleneck. Only Japan Black would dry fast enough, forcing the company to drop the variety of colors available before 1913, until fast-drying Duco lacquer was developed in 1926. This is the source of Ford's apocryphal remark, "any color as long as it's black". In 1914, an assembly line worker could buy a Model T with four months' pay.
Ford's complex safety procedures—especially assigning each worker
to a specific location instead of allowing them to roam
about—dramatically reduced the rate of injury. The combination of
high wages and high efficiency is called "
In the automotive industry, its success was dominating, and quickly
spread worldwide seeing the founding of
Development of automotive technology was rapid, due in part to the
hundreds of small manufacturers competing to gain the world's
attention. Key developments included electric ignition and the
electric self-starter (both by
Since the 1920s, nearly all cars have been mass-produced to meet market needs, so marketing plans often have heavily influenced car design. It was Alfred P. Sloan who established the idea of different makes of cars produced by one company, called the General Motors Companion Make Program , so that buyers could "move up" as their fortunes improved.
Reflecting the rapid pace of change, makes shared parts with one
another so larger production volume resulted in lower costs for each
price range. For example, in the 1930s, LaSalles , sold by
In Europe, much the same would happen. Morris set up its production
line at Cowley in 1924, and soon outsold Ford, while beginning in 1923
to follow Ford's practice of vertical integration , buying Hotchkiss
(engines), Wrigley (gearboxes), and Osberton (radiators), for
instance, as well as competitors, such as Wolseley : in 1925, Morris
had 41% of total British car production. Most British small-car
assemblers, from Abbey to Xtra , had gone under.
In Japan, car production was very limited before World War II. Only a
handful of companines were producing vehicles in limited numbers, and
these were small, three-wheeled for commercial uses, like
FUEL AND PROPULSION TECHNOLOGIES
Most cars in use today are propelled by an internal combustion
engine, fueled by the deflagration (rather than detonation )
combustion of hydrocarbon fossil fuels, mostly gasoline (petrol) and
diesel , as well as some
Oil consumption in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has been
abundantly pushed by car growth; the 1985–2003 oil glut even fuelled
the sales of low-economy vehicles in
Car controls In the
Ford Model T
Cars are equipped with controls used for driving, passenger comfort and safety, normally operated by a combination of the use of feet and hands, and occasionally by voice on 2000s-era cars. These controls include a steering wheel , pedals for operating the brakes and controlling the car's speed (and, in a manual transmission car, a clutch pedal), a shift lever or stick for changing gears, and a number of buttons and dials for turning on lights, ventilation and other functions. Modern cars' controls are now standardised, such as the location for the accelerator and brake, but this was not always the case. Controls are evolving in response to new technologies, for example the electric car and the integration of mobile communications.
Since the car was first invented, its controls have become fewer and
simpler through automation. For example, all cars once had a manual
controls for the choke valve, clutch, ignition timing , and a crank
instead of an electric starter . However new controls have also been
added to vehicles, making them more complex. Examples include air
conditioning , navigation systems , and in car entertainment . Another
trend is the replacement of physical knob and switches for secondary
controls with touchscreen controls such as
Cars are typically fitted with multiple types of lights. These include headlights , which are used to illuminate the way ahead and make the car visible to other users, so that the vehicle can be used at night; in some jurisdictions, daytime running lights ; red brake lights to indicate when the brakes are applied; amber turn signal lights to indicate the turn intentions of the driver; white-coloured reverse lights to illuminate the area behind the car (and indicate that the driver will be or is reversing); and on some vehicles, additional lights (e.g., side marker lights) to increase the visibility of the car. Interior lights on the ceiling of the car are usually fitted for the driver and passengers. Some vehicles also have a trunk light and, more rarely, an engine compartment light.
In the United States, "from 1975 to 1980, average weight dropped from 1,842 to 1,464 kg (4,060 to 3,228 lb), likely in response to rising gasoline prices" and new fuel efficiency standards. The average new car weighed 1,461 kg (3,221 lb) in 1987 but 1,818 kg (4,009 lb) in 2010, due to modern steel safety cages, anti-lock brakes, airbags, and "more-powerful—if more-efficient—engines." Heavier cars are safer for the driver, from an accident perspective, but more dangerous for other vehicles and road users. The weight of a car influences fuel consumption and performance, with more weight resulting in increased fuel consumption and decreased performance. The SmartFortwo , a small city car , weighs 750–795 kg (1,655–1,755 lb). Heavier cars include full-size cars, SUVs and extended-length SUVs like the Suburban .
According to research conducted by Julian Allwood of the University of Cambridge , global energy use could be heavily reduced by using lighter cars, and an average weight of 500 kg (1,100 lb) has been said to be well achievable. In some competitions such as the Shell Eco Marathon , average car weights of 45 kg (99 lb) have also been achieved. These cars are only single-seaters (still falling within the definition of a car, although 4-seater cars are more common), but they nevertheless demonstrate the amount by which car weights could still be reduced, and the subsequent lower fuel use (i.e. up to a fuel use of 2560 km/l).
SEATING AND BODY STYLE
Car body style
Most cars are designed to carry multiple occupants, often with four or five seats. Cars with five seats typically seat two passengers in the front and three in the rear. Full-size cars and large sport utility vehicles can often carry six, seven, or more occupants depending on the arrangement of the seats. In the other hand, sports cars are most often designed with only two seats. The differing needs for passenger capacity and their luggage or cargo space has resulted in the availability of a large variety of body styles to meet individual consumer requirements that include, among others, the sedan/saloon , hatchback , station wagon /estate, and minivan .
Car safety ,
Traffic accident ,
Low speed vehicle ,
Epidemiology of motor vehicle collisions
Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths
worldwide. Mary Ward became one of the first documented car
fatalities in 1869 in Parsonstown , Ireland, and Henry Bliss one of
the United States' first pedestrian car casualties in 1899 in New York
City. There are now standard tests for safety in new cars, such as
Worldwide, road traffic is becoming ever safer , in part due to efforts by the government to implement safety features in cars (e.g., seat belts , air bags , etc.), reduce unsafe driving practices (e.g., speeding , drinking and driving and texting and driving ) and make road design more safe by adding features such as speed bumps , which reduce vehicle speed, and roundabouts , which reduce the likelihood of a head-on-collision (as compared with an intersection ).
COSTS AND BENEFITS
The costs of car usage, which may include the cost of: acquiring the vehicle, repairs and auto maintenance , fuel, depreciation , driving time, parking fees , taxes, and insurance, are weighed against the cost of the alternatives, and the value of the benefits – perceived and real – of vehicle usage. The benefits may include on-demand transportation, mobility, independence and convenience. During the 1920s, cars had another benefit: "ouples finally had a way to head off on unchaperoned dates, plus they had a private space to snuggle up close at the end of the night."
Similarly the costs to society of encompassing car use, which may include those of: maintaining roads , land use , air pollution , road congestion , public health , health care, and of disposing of the vehicle at the end of its life, can be balanced against the value of the benefits to society that car use generates. The societal benefits may include: economy benefits, such as job and wealth creation, of car production and maintenance, transportation provision, society wellbeing derived from leisure and travel opportunities, and revenue generation from the tax opportunities. The ability for humans to move flexibly from place to place has far-reaching implications for the nature of societies.
While there are different types of fuel that may power cars, most rely on gasoline or diesel. The United States Environmental Protection Agency states that the average vehicle emits 8,887 grams of carbon dioxide per gallon of gasoline. The average vehicle running on diesel fuel will emit 10,180 grams of carbon dioxide. Many governments are using fiscal policies (such as road tax or the US gas guzzler tax ) to influence vehicle purchase decisions, with a low CO2 figure often resulting in reduced taxation. Fuel taxes may act as an incentive for the production of more efficient, hence less polluting, car designs (e.g. hybrid vehicles ) and the development of alternative fuels . High fuel taxes may provide a strong incentive for consumers to purchase lighter, smaller, more fuel-efficient cars, or to not drive. On average, today's cars are about 75 percent recyclable, and using recycled steel helps reduce energy use and pollution. In the United States Congress, federally mandated fuel efficiency standards have been debated regularly, passenger car standards have not risen above the 27.5 miles per US gallon (8.6 L/100 km; 33.0 mpg‑imp) standard set in 1985. Light truck standards have changed more frequently, and were set at 22.2 miles per US gallon (10.6 L/100 km; 26.7 mpg‑imp) in 2007.
The manufacture of vehicles is resource intensive, and many manufacturers now report on the environmental performance of their factories, including energy usage, waste and water consumption.
The growth in popularity of the car allowed cities to sprawl , therefore encouraging more travel by car resulting in inactivity and obesity , which in turn can lead to increased risk of a variety of diseases.
Animals and plants are often negatively impacted by cars via habitat destruction and pollution. Over the lifetime of the average car the "loss of habitat potential" may be over 50,000 m2 (540,000 sq ft) based on primary production correlations. Animals are also killed every year on roads by cars, referred to as roadkill . More recent road developments are including significant environmental mitigations in their designs such as green bridges to allow wildlife crossings , and creating wildlife corridors .
Growth in the popularity of vehicles and commuting has led to traffic
congestion . Brussels was considered Europe's most congested city in
2011 according to
EMERGING CAR TECHNOLOGIES
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New materials which may replace steel car bodies include duralumin ,
fiberglass , carbon fiber , biocomposites , and carbon nanotubes .
Fully autonomous vehicles, also known as driverless cars, already exist in prototype (such as the Google driverless car ), and are expected to be commercially available around 2020. According to urban designer and futurist Michael E. Arth , driverless electric vehicles—in conjunction with the increased use of virtual reality for work, travel, and pleasure—could reduce the world's 800 million vehicles to a fraction of that number within a few decades. This would be possible if almost all private cars requiring drivers, which are not in use and parked 90% of the time, would be traded for public self-driving taxis that would be in near constant use. This would also allow for getting the appropriate vehicle for the particular need—a bus could come for a group of people, a limousine could come for a special night out, and a Segway could come for a short trip down the street for one person. Children could be chauffeured in supervised safety, DUIs would no longer exist, and 41,000 lives could be saved each year in the US alone.
OPEN SOURCE DEVELOPMENT
Main article: Open source car
There have been several projects aiming to develop a car on the principles of open design , an approach to designing in which the plans for the machinery and systems are publicly shared, often without monetary compensation. The projects include OScar , Riversimple (through 40fires.org) and c,mm,n. None of the projects have reached significant success in terms of developing a car as a whole both from hardware and software perspective and no mass production ready open-source based design have been introduced as of late 2009. Some car hacking through on-board diagnostics (OBD) has been done so far.
The automotive industry designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells the world's motor vehicles . In 2008, more than 70 million motor vehicles, including cars and commercial vehicles were produced worldwide.
In 2007, a total of 71.9 million new cars were sold worldwide: 22.9 million in Europe, 21.4 million in the Asia-Pacific Region, 19.4 million in the USA and Canada, 4.4 million in Latin America, 2.4 million in the Middle East and 1.4 million in Africa. The markets in North America and Japan were stagnant, while those in South America and other parts of Asia grew strongly. Of the major markets, China, Russia, Brazil and India saw the most rapid growth.
About 250 million vehicles are in use in the United States. Around the world, there were about 806 million cars and light trucks on the road in 2007; they burn over 260 billion US gallons (980,000,000 m3) of gasoline and diesel fuel yearly. The numbers are increasing rapidly, especially in China and India. In the opinion of some, urban transport systems based around the car have proved unsustainable, consuming excessive energy, affecting the health of populations, and delivering a declining level of service despite increasing investments. Many of these negative impacts fall disproportionately on those social groups who are also least likely to own and drive cars. The sustainable transport movement focuses on solutions to these problems.
In 2008, with rapidly rising oil prices, industries such as the automotive industry, are experiencing a combination of pricing pressures from raw material costs and changes in consumer buying habits. The industry is also facing increasing external competition from the public transport sector, as consumers re-evaluate their private vehicle usage. Roughly half of the US's fifty-one light vehicle plants are projected to permanently close in the coming years, with the loss of another 200,000 jobs in the sector, on top of the 560,000 jobs lost this decade. Combined with robust growth in China, in 2009, this resulted in China becoming the largest car producer and market in the world. China 2009 sales had increased to 13.6 million, a significant increase from one million of domestic car sales in 2000. Since then however, even in China and other BRIC countries, the automotive production is again falling.
Main article: Alternatives to car use The Vélib\' in Paris is the largest bikesharing system outside of China
Established alternatives for some aspects of car use include public
transit such as buses, trolleybuses , trains, subways , tramways light
rail, cycling, and walking . Car-share arrangements and carpooling are
also increasingly popular, in the US and Europe. For example, in the
US, some car-sharing services have experienced double-digit growth in
revenue and membership growth between 2006 and 2007. Services like car
sharing offering a residents to "share" a vehicle rather than own a
car in already congested neighborhoods. Bike-share systems have been
tried in some European cities, including
The term motorcar has formerly also been used in the context of electrified rail systems to denote a car which functions as a small locomotive but also provides space for passengers and baggage. These locomotive cars were often used on suburban routes by both interurban and intercity railroad systems.
* Cars portal
Main article: Outline of automobiles
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* Halberstam, David (1986). The Reckoning. New York: Morrow. ISBN 0-688-04838-2 . * Kay, Jane Holtz (1997). Asphalt nation : how the automobile took over America, and how we can take it back. New York: Crown. ISBN 0-517-58702-5 . * Williams, Heathcote (1991). Autogeddon. New York: Arcade. ISBN 1-55970-176-5 . * Sachs, Wolfgang (1992). For love of the automobile: looking back into the history of our desires. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06878-5 .
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