Picture this; you wake up late for work, you rush out the front door, and in your garage sits your vehicle of choice; a horse, still fast asleep. Waking it up might take another half hour, making you even late for work.
This could have been your reality, but thankfully, cars were invented.
Transportation has come a long way, evolving alongside a man from the early days. From walking to riding on animals, to animal-pulled carriages, there were a lot of options and that is yet to stop changing.
The first automobile ever created that could carry a whole human was the steam-powered vehicle in 1768, and it was made by Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot. It was a huge development that took a few years to get right, but it pushed the evolution of automobiles even forward until different inventors started to come up with their own designs and patented styles.
In the 19th century, automobile production faced a small delay because of a lack of resources that resorted in a backlash against some of the bigger vehicles. It was at this time that gasoline-powered cars were introduced.
The first realistic car officially appeared in 1888, and it was created by Karl Benz in Germany, who made more than a few identical copies at the time. Under permission from Benz, Emile Roger also made a few copies in France as well.
However, cars weren’t mass-produced until 1900, the most popular markets being in the US and Germany by the Ford Motor Company, making them among one of the first companies to begin mass-producing for the general market.
The first automobile company that was made exclusively to build cars was Panhard et Levassor, a French company that was formed in 1889. Peugeot followed only two years later, and by the start of the 20th century, Western Europe had 48% of the world’s automobile production.
The advancement of car production has since diversified, with many other companies expanding to make room for automobile manufacturing, while many others started up from scratch. Among the rapidly expanding industry, the first four-wheel drive racing car was created in 1903 by Jacobus Spijker, a Dutch designer. Although the car was never actually used in a race, its design was multiplied over time.
It took quite a while, decades even, for automobile designs to upgrade to the versions that they are today; from frequent breakdowns to roads that weren’t suitable for the cars to ride on, there were quite a number of hurdles. With time, these flaws were worked on to produce bigger, better, and stronger versions of these cars that have now become things we can’t live without in today’s world.
From gasoline-powered cars to electric vehicles, the formulas for automobiles might have changed, but the impact that they have is still just as mind-blowing as the day that they were created.
Cars have been around for a long time, they are a vital part of human existence, and they will continue to exist for much longer.