A Brief History of the Automobile

As with all great inventions, it was developed by countless generations of pioneers who stood on the shoulders of each other to get the motor vehicle where it is today. We will now look at the foundations that helped the motor vehicle get from 0-60.

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The Steam-Powered Propulsion Vehicle

Although not the most memorable name, it was the first step in the development of the motor vehicle we know. This steam-powered invention was first created by Ferdinand Verbeist, a missionary. Although it was not able to carry passengers, this basic principle became the foundation for motorized steam vehicles in Western Europe during the 18th and 19th century.

In France, the artillery tractor was first developed in 1770. The steam-powered steam carriage was invented in Britain in 1784. Despite their poor results, many of these inventions were quickly abandoned. However, they did lead to the creation of early transmissions and hand brakes.

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These trial and error periods were the basis for the idea of transporting people. It was fairly progressive until the Locomotive Act (1865), which introduced a number of progress-stripping stipulations that effectively ended road auto development for the next few decades.

The Internal Combustion Engine

The internal combustion engine would have been the one that powered the revival of the motor car, but it was fuelling them that was the problem. Many delays were caused by a lack of fuels suitable for these vehicles.

German inventors were the first to create a petrol-powered automobile. Karl Benz built his first automobile in 1885. This invention would be the first long-distance motorized journey, proving the viability and launching the automobile boom worldwide.

Henry Ford’s Assembly Line

Motor vehicles were becoming viable, and they were being built in Europe and North America at the intersection of the 19th- and 20th centuries. However, their construction was still costly and time-consuming making them impossible to afford for the average person.

Although there were automobile manufacturing companies that produced reasonable quantities of motor cars as early as 1893, it was Henry Ford’s revolutionary work that made the motor car affordable to all. The assembly line made it possible to build vehicles in a much faster manner than before. This allowed for lower prices and made them easier to mass-produce.

War – The Mother of Invention

For the incredible progress made during wartime, “War is the Mother of Invention” is a popular sentiment. However, it was originally derived from “Necessity the mother of invention”, which, when used correctly, has the same meaning.

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The necessity to transport artillery, supplies, and troops to the front lines was a major factor in the development of more powerful vehicles with more efficient engines. Motor vehicles have seen great improvements since wartime. This rapid development was eventually transferred to commercial distribution, bringing them closer to their current form.

Modern Technology

Modern motor cars are so easily available that many families can have multiple cars to their home. This is a concept that was absurd 50 years ago. Vehicle production is one of the most efficient production lines technologies due to advances in electronics, mechanics and computer software.

Future 5th Gear

Where does the motor vehicle go from here? How far can this technology go from its humble steam-powered roots to global mass production?

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Many people would love to see hover cars and space highways but practicality and necessity will always fuel motor car advancement. The ‘wars,’ which are currently driving motor car evolution are global warming and the decline in fossil fuels, and science searching for other fuel sources.