Car - history
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.72122 It is not known if Verbiest's model was ever built.22
Cugnot's 1771 fardier ? 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.23 He also constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the French National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.24 His inventions were, however, handicapped by problems with water supply and maintaining steam pressure.24 In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed by many to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use.
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.
Autonomous car - Wikipedia facts:
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.59 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.6061
Cars and costs - from Wikipedia
In countries deprived from wide door-to-door public transport and with low density, such as Australia, the automobile plays an important role on the mobility of citizens. Public transport, by comparison, becomes increasingly uneconomic with lower population densities. Hence cars tend to dominate in rural and suburban environments with public economic gains.
The automobile industry, mainly in the beginning of the 20th century when the high motorization rates were not an issue, had also an important public role, which was the creation of jobs. In 1907, 45,000 cars were produced in The United States, but 28 years later in 1935 3,971,000 were produced, nearly 100 times as many. This increase in production required a large, new work force. In 1913 13,623 people worked at Ford Motor Company, but by 1915 18,028 people worked there.10 Bradford DeLong, author of The Roaring Twenties, tells us that, "Many more lined up outside the Ford factory for chances to work at what appeared to them to be (and, for those who did not mind the pace of the assembly line much, was) an incredible boondoggle of a job.10" There was a surge in the need for workers at big, new high-technology companies such as Ford. Employment largely increased.