Automobiles and Motorcycles
In the late 1800s, the first automobiles were produced. Gottlieb Daimler, an engineer, was one of the first to develop a working prototype of an internal combustion engine. He was working as a technical director at the Deutz Gasmotorenfabrik. Nikolaus Otto was a co-owner of the company and claimed to have constructed the first motorcycle in 1872.
Motorcycles are far more difficult to operate than automobiles. They require many years of practice to become an efficient driver. New drivers have to learn how to navigate and look out for hazards. In addition, they need to learn how to turn their heads to see what is happening. Motorcycles have longer stopping distances, even with ABS brakes, and their contact patch with the road is much smaller than a car’s. In addition, 95% of braking force is concentrated in the front brakes.
Motorcycles and scooters are often miscategorized as automobiles. While they may be auto-propelled, motorcycles are not automobiles unless they carry more than two passengers. In addition, some motorcycles have sidecars, which don’t constitute automobiles. Several court cases have ruled that motorcycles are not automobiles.
Automobiles have become the primary mode of transportation for most people. Today, there are 1.4 billion passenger cars in the world. One-quarter of these are produced in the U.S.; the rest come from foreign manufacturers. Automobiles are a complex technical system with thousands of component parts. Advancements in existing technology, legislation, and global competition have resulted in more sophisticated designs and subsystems.