December 18, 2017 | 3:19 am
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Cars and Transportation

Cars are the most popular mode of transport across the globe. There are about 1.2 billion cars plying our roads today. This number is expected to balloon even further since there’s a very high demand for vehicles in countries with large populations such as China and India. Their popularity can be attributed to a number of factors such as their reliability, safety, price and cost of running them among other things. But where did it all begin? When did cars start being used as a mode of transport? In this article, we will be looking at Cars and Transportation and more specifically the history and development of cars as a mode of transportation.

The first cars were invented in the 17th and 18th centuries and were steam-powered. It was Ferdinand Verbiest who invented the first ever steam-powered vehicle that was meant to be a toy for the Chinese Emperor. This vehicle, however, was so small that it could not be used as a mode of transport by anyone including the Emperor. The first vehicle that could transport people and their goods was invented in the 18th century by Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot. His design, however, was not workable. In 1784, the center of innovation had shifted to Great Britain from France. Great Britain had built its first ever practical steam-powered vehicle. The United States followed suit after Oliver Evans was granted the first ever automobile patent.

In the 20th century, right before the commencement of world war two, steam-powered vehicles had greatly improved. By the early 1930s, most of them had been fitted with a lighter fast-steaming boiler and efficient engines that positively affected their performance. After the end of the war, a new breed of cars was invented. These cars had a front engine. They were also faster thanks to the improved and refined internal combustion engines. Hydraulic brakes had also been invented making these cars safer than their predecessors. By the end of the 20th century, there was intense competition in the market that saw top U.S. manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors and Chrysler lose their leading positions. This is because European and Asian manufacturers had understood how important reliability is to many people. By the 1980s, cars had become the dominant mode of transport overtaking trains.

Today we are in the modern automobile error. Cars are much faster, much more reliable, and are more practical. Today we have economy cars that are suitable for transporting about two people. We have family cars that can carry about eight people. We have sedans that can carry five people at most. The industry has also grown. In the United States, there are 1.3 people for every car while in China there are about 6.75 people for every car. This just shows you how popular cars are in today’s world.


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