The first cars were made in 1805 and were only affordable to the wealthy members of the society. Henry Ford is among the pioneers of the automobile industry, and he played a monumental role in shaping today’s industry. With time, more people have been getting able to afford automobiles as a result of their affordability and increased rate of production. However, despite many advantages, automobiles cause negative effects on people and the environment at large. This paper highlights the development of automobiles up to the present and the impact they have made, both positive and negative.
The development of automobiles took years of research and innovations from many individuals for it to gain a success. 1885 witnessed the first successfully manufactured car, despite numerous earlier attempts to come up with a functional automobile. Some attempts had gotten minimal success by using the steam engine, but innovators still wanted to make a self-powered automobile. This aspect makes people think that cars like contemporary have served people more time than they have. The first car was developed in 1769; its designer was Cugnot Nicholas-Joseph and the construction done by M. Brezin. However, the vehicle’s maximum speed was nearly 6 kilometers per hour. After a period of two years, Nicholas designed another car whose engine was still driven by steam, but was faster than its first analog. Nicholas-Joseph aimed at reducing the size and mass of vehicles, because his first ones were too heavy and required a flat strong surface (Sehgal, 2008). However, those earlier cars created a stage for the design and increase of new cars in the industry.
The process towards the development of a reliable car was a gradual process with new inventions made as time progressed. After the steam engine, the next stage was the internal combustion engine. The first internal combustion engine was designed by Francois Isaac de Rivaz in the year 1807 by the use of oxygen and hydrogen to give the desired amount of energy. Before the designs could run on an internal combustion engine, it took a lot of inventions to make it successful. The two stroke gas engine was first invented by Jean Joseph Etienne Lenoir in 1860 (Berger, 2011). This experiment encouraged him to build a vehicle based on his original design and make an experiment of driving from Paris to Joinville on it at a speed of 3 kilometer in an hour. This happened two years after the initial discovery. By 1865, this experiment resulted in these cars’ popularity, and they could be seen driven by people. Unfortunately, Lenoir was not able to enjoy the fruits and experience advantages of his inventions as he died by that time (Newton, 2012). Though this was a tragedy for the inventor, his discoveries paved way to the new age automobiles that are seen today.
Effects of Automobiles on the Environment
In the American automobile industry, many cars are considered to be out of service as their lifespan increases. Mostly, they are considered to be out of service due to their effect on the environment. It is evident that the more automobiles are produced, the greater is their effect on the society. The production, running, and maintenance of automobiles cause versatile effects on the environment with a different degree of damage. Tire particles and debris from brakes affect nearby soils by raising its toxic level, with tire particles creating black carbon that has a negative effect of the environment. Coating and painting constitute a large part of environmental pollution by releasing into the environment hexavalent chromium and nickel. Batteries also release lead into the environment; although they can be recycled, some lead cannot be contained and find its way to the environment. Combusted gases from an automobile’s engine destroy the ozone layer, leading to the increased level of radiation and infrared light penetration. Combusted gases are also considered as one of the causes of global warming. When automobile is faulty or during an oil change, there is a possibility of oil and liquid petroleum hydrocarbons spillage. This is a cause of ground and water pollution, especially in marine areas. The effect of automobiles on the environment can be reduced by increasing the level of recyclability of the car components (Lutz 2010).
Effects of Automobiles on the Society
The development of automobiles has both positive and negative effects on the society. As a positive effect, it has markedly improved communication between people in different geographical locations. Unlike earlier modes of transports like horses, cars can work long hours without getting tired. The rising number of automobiles has also enhanced the development of infrastructure and road networks and opened new business opportunities. However, they are one of the main sources of pollution to the cities, be it from the noise they produce or the gases they emit while running. As a result, vehicles using alternative fuel cars are recommended, and innovators have been working on producing more cars with less adverse effects on humans. The development of more roads and highways has reduced the square of forest cover, which helps in cleaning the air and bringing rainfall (Berger 2011).
Effects of Automobiles on the Structure of Cities
Automobiles have transformed the structure of most cities, mostly in a positive way. They have considerably aggravated congestion in large cities. In this regard, authorities try to lessen traffic by implementing other modes of transport like subways, trolleys, buses, trams, etc. (Furness, 2010). The technology applied on transport has always played a key function in shaping the structure of cities over the years. This is mostly done by creating better transport services. At first, roads were made along the transport routes that were used in ancient times, but it gradually changed. Convenient transport communication advanced cities growing. One can hardly imagine himself in a megalopolis without a fast mean of transport. Automobiles are not only used for private, but also for public transportation, and its earnings can be invested in city development (Rogers 2012).
All over the world, production of cars has shot up by 22.4% in the year 2010 after it experienced a downturn of 9.6% in the year 2009. As a result, in 2010, 5.8 million cars were produced with the European Union being the highest producers, followed by China.
The statistics show that more people are able to access automobiles worldwide than before, which has played a momentous role in improving the transport network. This can be attributed to the increase in the assortment of automobiles to suit the different needs of users. They have grown to become a necessity for people and societies all over the world.
The development of automobiles has both positive and negative effects on the world, but the positives surpass the negatives by far. Automobiles have changed peoples’ life greatly by improving communication all over the world.