Automobiles Open Up New Doorways

Few inventions have had as strong an influence on the history, economy, and social life of much of the world as the automobile. The modern car, with its millions of vehicles that travel more than three trillion kilometers (almost five trillion miles) each year on average in the United States alone, is a complex system of interrelated subsystems with specific design functions. These systems include the engine, suspension, braking and steering mechanisms, size and weight, appearance, and, to a lesser extent, fuel efficiency and pollution control.

The development of the modern automobile is a fascinating story. Its origins lie in the invention of the internal combustion engine and the use of gasoline as a fuel, followed by the rise of American manufacturing and production techniques. By the 1920s, automobiles had become the dominant mode of passenger transportation, with Ford, GM and Chrysler dominating the market.


Owning an automobile allows people to get where they want to go when they want without having to depend on others for rides. This freedom means more options for where people choose to live in relation to their jobs and gives them access to many different areas of a city or community that were once too far away to reach. It also lets them shop in other places and visit friends and family over longer distances more easily. It can even help with the purchase of a home by showing lenders that you are capable of making regular payments on a loan.