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Basic Automobile History

The First Car

Man has always sought to simplify his existence by delegating his labor to others. That is how the slave-owning system appeared, but this is not the time when civilization was developing. The man intended to lift something very heavy by utilizing only one person, who is outfitted with a device that will enable them to do the operation, as opposed to one hundred individuals. When human strength was insufficient, animals, like horses, were typically used. The horses proved to be a highly effective mover; it only took them a short while to replenish their energy with water and hay, and they had the stamina to go for a distance of several miles.

Later, people developed carriages after realizing that riding a horse was exceedingly taxing. And everything would be good, but there is always something missing. Horses move slowly and with some comfort, so they can travel a short distance. Because even at first glimpse, the sound of sand on passengers' teeth reminded well-protected carriages for the monarchs of their leaks. Another significant issue was war... A horse can be slain during a combat, hence the issue of substituting an inanimate item emerged.

Self-Propelled Cart

That’s why in the middle to the end of the 17th century, a self-moving carriage on steam traction was invented (an example diagram is shown in the Figure 1.1). Military engineer Nicolas Cugno, a French citizen, was the inventor of this miracle of engineering.

Self-moving carriage invented by Cugno
Self-moving carriage invented by Cugno

The slow movement of this carriage—its top speed was about 4 km/h—required numerous stops in order to maintain the boiler's water level and the desired amount of heating. Although there was no horse, utilizing such equipment in battle was risky. Later, attempts to do so were made, but not with the same zeal: the nation needed to conduct war right away, therefore it wasn't proper to waste time on the creation of revolutionary enterprises. But the hunt for the perfect power supply continued unabated.

lighting Gas Engine

Therefore, Monsieur Le Bon of France obtained a patent in 1801, detailing the construction of an engine powered by lighting gas. However, he fell short of more or less major success. As time went on, numerous additional innovators from different nations tried unsuccessfully to develop a functional illumination gas engine. Etienne Lenoir, another Frenchman, didn't think to light the illuminating gas inside the engine cylinder until 1859–1860. In reality, this individual got quite near to coming up with the notion of an internal combustion engine (ICE).

But as soon as he turned the machine on, it jammed because the pistons had gotten too hot.

Automotive Aerodynamics
Automotive Aerodynamics

Invention Of Four-Stroke Engine

When the inventive Frenchman decided to create a crude cooling system, the engine briefly started up again and again. Following the adoption of the lubrication system, Lenoir put a line under his tests, albeit it was not the last. But because this device operated more like a steam engine, all of its potential was eliminated. Because of its extremely low coefficient of performance (COP), it only had 2 horsepower with 18 liters of volume.

Nikolaus August Otto, a German engineer and self-taught inventor, developed and patented a four-stroke internal combustion engine in less than 20 years (in 1876). Its novelty was the compression stroke, which allowed for a large increase in the power extracted from a unit of volume.

However, a car is not just its engine. There was a need for a more convenient, transportable fuel, and it had to somehow fit into the architecture of the vehicle.

Gasoline was created to address this issue. Very shortly afterward, the first gasoline-powered self-moving carriages were created. The legendary Gottlieb Daimler was a pioneer in this field. He unveiled the two-wheeled, self-moving, internal combustion-powered "great-grandfather" of the motorbike in 1885. It wasn't an automobile; it was a motorcycle.

Two-wheel carriage (motorcycle) invented by Gottlieb Daimler.
Two-wheel carriage (motorcycle) invented by Gottlieb Daimler.

Self-moving carriage invented by Gottlieb Daimler.
Self-moving carriage invented by Gottlieb Daimler.

Por cierto, este último fue patentado de forma independiente en 1886 por Daimler y Karl Benz.

Las disputas sobre quién debería ser considerado el padre-inventor del automóvil duraron más de un año. Después de un largo litigio, la primacía fue otorgada a Benz, porque creó su carruaje autopropulsado de principio a fin sin ayuda de nadie.

Self-moving carriage invented by Karl Benz.
Self-moving carriage invented by Karl Benz.

However, nobody intended to stop there. Even extremely noisy, smoky, and oily trains began to draw large crowds. Many people did not see the need to purchase a pricey toy. This did not impede their growth, though. The earliest electric vehicles, which were nearly a century ahead of their time, were created around the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. Unfortunately, there were no technologies available at the time to produce batteries with enough storage capacity to prevent even short-distance travel.

First Auto Racing

Enterprises for the production of cars began to spring up like mushrooms after an autumn rain as a result of early consideration of the potential of internal combustion engines. However, the manual nature of their production and high cost ultimately made these cars unpopular. As is often the case, sports become their platform for advertising. On July 22, 1894, in France, the first auto races ever held for the purpose of popularizing vehicles were held.

The objective was to at least complete the race without experiencing any problems. The objective was to travel 126 kilometers. In general, this number seems absurd, but not at that time. The vehicles using Daimler internal combustion engines that won the race were Peugeot and Panhard.

Conveyor Assembly

Once the cars hit the market, only a select few people could afford to buy them due to their high price, as was already established. Low sales were the consequence. Numerous new businesses failed to compete with more established ones and went out of business.

Henry Ford, a brilliant inventor, designer, and businessman, decided to change this by introducing line assembly for the Ford-T model (Tin Lizzie) he created in 1908 in 1913. Ford was able to keep the cost of a midsize automobile as low as possible in this fashion. Only numbers can be used to support the aforementioned: 785,432 vehicles were sold between 1913 and 1917. The "T" model's cost was consequently reduced to $ 350.

Industrial Surge

Again, the military, who began considering where and how vehicles may be deployed, was a driving force behind the creation of the automotive industry. This is the history of multi-axle vehicles. Vehicles' engines, gearboxes, and other components saw improvements, and vehicle dependability rose.

The car industry has received and continues to receive many inventions from the aviation sector. All types of air blowers started to be installed in this "winged" industry, and aerodynamic calculations were used for the first time. After the Second World War, an industrial boom took place, and inventive and intrinsically new inventions started to emerge. However, because it was technologically difficult to put many of the ideas into use at the time, they stayed in the shape of advances until better times. The car business adopted several design techniques from the aviation sector. Thus, Saab Company was the first in the world to optimize the body shape of its models using a wind tunnel.

The development of spoilers for use in motorsports came next, owing to the legendary Colin Chapman. Centrifugal compressors, turbochargers, first drive compressors, and many more entered the automotive sector and have persisted to this day.

Over time, advancements in production engineering produced results. A famous Mercedes-Benz SL "Gull Wing," for instance, debuted in 1954 at an auto show. It had a light body, a mechanical engine with direct fuel injection into the cylinder, and intriguing doors that opened vertically (hence the name).

Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, 1954 year of production.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, 1954 year of production.

Consider the BMW 507, which was built in 1956 and featured an all-aluminum engine, which was revolutionary at the time. The body was likewise comprised of light metal. Yes, it turns out that the car was incredibly pricey. Despite the fact that just 252 copies were produced, it was innovative and set the stage for the introduction of cutting-edge technologies. After all, the Audi Company didn't begin mass producing an automobile with an all-aluminum body until 1994, when they unveiled the A8 to the public.

BMW 507, 1956 year of production
BMW 507, 1956 year of production

Security implementation

After World War II, as auto production grew at previously unheard-of rates, the number of cars increased dramatically. Comfortable, heftier, and more potent vehicles were developed. Due to the rise in auto accidents caused by higher speeds, this had extremely catastrophic repercussions. Statistics showing the number of fatalities on the roads emerged, begging and pleading for the installation of any safety measures.

However, the manufacturers refrained from taking any action, claiming that the safety measures would detract from the car's appearance. They began placing seat belts in cars while in great pain and suffering. The first of them was a simple tissue tape that was used to encircle someone. Such a plan, however, could not completely address the issues, as a person may still slip beneath the seatbelt during a collision, hitting his chest against the steering wheel and suffering life-threatening injuries. This issue was resolved by designer Niels Bohlin, and in 1959 the Volvo PV544 model received the three-point seat belt, which has remained constant ever since.

Belo Bareni, a designer and the pioneer of passive safety, should also be mentioned. He was the most intelligent individual, and it was because of him that the so-called deformation zones began to occur in the bodies' structure, which caused the impact force to be repeatedly extinguished.

Example of effect of body deformation zones
Example of effect of body deformation zones

First SUV Car

Moving from depressing to intriguing, it is important to remember the VAZ 2121 "Niva," the world's first serial passenger car with permanent all-wheel drive (production started in 1977). The idea of this vehicle as a compact SUV with outstanding comfort features and even all-wheel drive was revolutionary. The SUV is the name given to this class of vehicles, which is one of the most well-liked globally.

It won't be Sufficient to include everything that has emerged in the last fifty years. However, it should be noted that challenges to the future growth of the automobile sector existed throughout history (either a fuel crisis, or an environmental crisis). The engineering genius overcame every difficulty and successfully completed tasks that occasionally appeared to be insurmountable. This is how systems for adjusting the valve opening height, hybrid systems, electronic fuel injection, active and passive safety systems, variable cam timing systems, and many more emerged.

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