History of an Automobile
“There is nothing new in the world except the history you don’t know” very rightly said as the thing we use today always makes us curious about its history, specially engineers like me always have many question in our minds like Who invented it? , What was the idea behind the invention? Same thing happens when we drive an automobile vehicle we often become curious about its history, basically the transformation of an automobile from its invention to this date is divided into number of eras ,so let’s just discuss the history of an automobile vehicle along with its transformation eras till the date.
19th Century – Invention of an Automobile Vehicle
The first automobile car powered by the internal combustion engine that we still use today was designed by Francois Isaac de Rivaz in 1808 in which hydrogen was used as a fuel this invention was the boom in the history of automobile which gave rise to many mega inventions.
Later in 1870 Siegfried Marcos created a two cycle combustion engine and came up with an idea of using gasoline as a fuel in the vehicle, this invention by Marcos gave an idea of an effective propulsion engine which was later become the new era of research for the world.
With the idea of propulsion engine given by Marcos, various researches took place and finally in 1876 one of the great minds of the century Mr.Nikolaus Otto came up with a four stroke Otto cycle, which was the world shaking invention in the history as it gave rise to the development of four stroke internal combustion gasoline engine which we still use in today’s various automobile cars and bikes.
But it was found that the petrol engine though being so effective in the field of automotive vehicles, fails to provide high torque due to which heavy application of the automobile was not at all possible, This problem of heavy purpose vehicle was later solved by Rudolf Diesel who came with the 4 stroke diesel cycle which was later used to develop diesel engine which in turn gave rise to the development of the heavy duty vehicles and became the 2nd alternative and most effective propulsion engine that uses diesel which is cheaper than petrol.
In late 18th century ,After the invention of the these petrol and diesel engine various business tycoons started investing in this sector which in turn penetrated the engineering mind towards the development of an effective application of these engines which finally gave rise to the development of the important systems like transmission, steering ,braking etc.
After combining all the essential systems of an automobile in 1885, Karl Benz came up with the world’s 1st automobile vehicle powered with gasoline engine and finally the world came to know about the actual concept of an automobile vehicle, this vehicle by Benz was also considered to be the 1st production vehicle of the world.
This model produced by Karl Benz’s company named Benz ( which we also recognized as the Mercedes Benz) was powered by the 1 cylinder ,4 stroke gasoline internal combustion engine.
Due to the success of first automobile vehicle produced by the Benz various companies started entering in this field and started developing their own vehicles as it was very clear that automobile vehicle is the future of the mankind.
20th Century Automobile- Mass Production and Transformation Era.
After the successful launching of the first automobile vehicle in 1885 various companies came up with the different models but, one company that actually proved itself by successfully producing and selling of its automobile model named Model A in 1903 was” Ford Motor Company” who later became the biggest pioneer of the automobile world.
The starting of the 19th century was an era in which the demand of the automobile vehicle increased, but the production of the vehicle was limited, as the production of a single unit of a car demanded various designers, highly skilled craftsman and specially trained labors and also purchasing a car was not everyone’s cup of tea as the cost of the car was very high. This problem led Ford Motor Company to introduce the mass production techniques to the automobile sector, which in turn gave rise to the Model T in 1908, which became the 1st mass produced automobile vehicle, by 1927 ford produced over 15000000 Model-T that made the car affordable for average consumers.
By 1930 as the development of the automobile vehicle was on its peak, various new technologies which we still use in today’s automobile were introduced which gave rise to the various famous automobile vehicles like Austin 7, Lancia Lambada, Hanomag 2/10 PS, etc. And also the development of many race cars like Bugatti Type 13, Bugatti Type 35,Cadillac V-16 etc.
The era of mid 20th century was an era in which rapid transformation of automobile vehicle took place and world saw various famous luxury as well as high speed cars like Rolls-Royce Phantom III , Volkswagen Beetle, Ford V-8(Model B) etc.
In 1946 the famous Formula-1 a race series came into existence which followed Federation International de l’Automobile’s (FIA) rules and gave rise to the extreme testing of automobile research and development, as it provided a platform for all the automobile manufacturer to accept the challenge and develop vehicles to race and win the crown of the formula 1 due to which many new technologies like supercharging and turbo charging came into existence.
Till the end of the 20th century world saw various transformation of automobile vehicle in the form of designs, technology and body styling and became the spectator of many famous cars like Volkswagen Brasilia, Jaguar E-type , Porsche 911, Ford Mustang etc.
Porsche – 911
In the 20th century electrically powered automobile vehicle like Honda EV Plus, Toyota Prius etc. also became popular as due to pollution issues caused by the internal combustion engine, but their use were diminished due to its various limitations like charging time, speed and efficiency.
21st Century Automobile-Modern Era of Automobile.
This era of automobile research and development is the era in which various improvements and modifications in 20th century automobile technologies have implemented and extreme of all technologies have been introduced with the introduction of super and hyper series of cars.
During these 18 years of 21st century world has seen the wonders of automobile world as all the automobile manufacturers have adopted the modern technologies like computer aided designing, 3d printing, artificial intelligence etc. and due to the implementation of these modern technologies in research and development of the automobile vehicle wonders in automobile sector happened.
In the start of the 21st century in the history of automobile the body styling is totally changed and the introduction of new body styling like Sports Utility Vehicle, Saloon sedans, Hatchbacks and MPV’s holds the modern automobile market and modern body styled cars like Toyota Corolla , Audi A4, Tata Nano, Lamborghini Gallardo etc have taken the podium of the modern automobile market.
In 2008 Indian automobile car manufacturer Tata came up with the world’s cheapest car named Tata Nano which got the spotlight due to its extremely low price, In india Tata Nano was sold for just 100000 Indian rupees (US$1600) which gave Goosebumps to the world’s automobile industry and In the year 2011-12,74527 units of Tata Nano were sold.
The supercars series of vehicle have come to an end in 21st century with lots of famous wonders of automobile world like Lamborghini Gallardo, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT, Nissan GTR etc.
In the early 21st century The car manufactures started thinking about extreme high speed even up-to 250 miles per hour and high acceleration even upto 100 meters in 5 second, with these thoughts in mind the supercar series started shifting to the hypercar series.
The hyper series of cars had started in 2005,when the Volkswagen the biggest automobile company came up with the world’s fastest car Bugatti veyron 16.4 that can reach up to 253 miles per hour and can achieve 0 to 100 in just 4 or 5 seconds. This car is equipped with the W-16 engine that is the new type of engine in the engine world and can produce up to 2000 horsepower. This car gave rise to the various modifications in the automobile systems like tyres, brake system, suspension system, aerodynamic system etc. as to deal with this much high speed highly efficient automobile systems were required.
With this concept of high speed and high acceleration all the big automobile pioneers like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche etc. came up with their hyper series of cars and world got the cars like McLaren F1and P1, Porsche 918 Spyder, Lamborghini Reventon etc.
In early 21st century, The use of metals like steel and aluminium alloys to fabricate the chassis, body panels and other components of the automobile vehicle was the biggest headache for the car manufacturers, which was solved in this modern era of automobile research and development by the introduction of carbon fiber in the manufacturing of automobile components.
Koenigsegg automotive came up with the best use of fiber in a car manufacturing by developing Agera R which was the boom in the history of automobile as 70% of this car was carbon fiber, that made this car lightest of its series and this car made its place in the hyper series by competing with the fastest car Bugatti veyron .
Agera R gain the spot light with its unique almost 1:1 power to weight ratio that makes this car unique of its kind with the crown of Top Gear Hypercar of the year 2010. With the success of Agera R the whole automobile sector had shifted to the use of fiber in automobile vehicle manufacturing.
With the arrival of 21st century the shifting towards electrical energy for propulsion became popular due to the increase in pollution caused by I C engine, with this problem in mind many countries like Germany and India set their vision to make their countries fully electric by 2030. With this vision whole of the automobile is rapidly shifting towards the electric and whole of their research and development is now focused on the electric vehicle.
The boom of electric vehicle was started with the Tesla Roadster that used lithium ion battery for the 1st time in the history of automobile and gave upto 300+km per charge which became a benchmark for all the automobile sector and many companies came up with their electric vehicles like Nissan Leaf.
In 2013 a wonder happened when Tesla, that already made its place in automobile industry came up with the Tesla Model S that made its place in the hyper series of the automobile vehicle by giving the top speed of around 200 miles per hour and a whooping average of 335 km per charge, This car became the most difficult challenge for all the known automobile companies because reaching to this extent of speed and mileage was just a concept till that time.
Tesla Model S is still considered to be the wonder of the automobile industry as today even after 5 years of its launching none of the other automobile companies have been able to develop an electric car that can beat Tesla Model S.
With the world shifting to fully electric cars various concept electric cars like Audi E-Tron, Hyundai Kona EV, Jaguar i-Pace, etc will be showcased in Geneva Motor Show 2018.