The human mind is creative and human beings have always been thinking and finding solutions to the problems they face. Travel has been one of the greatest human challenges and over the years human beings have been able to easily overcome this challenge by inventing various means of transport. Nonetheless, the invention of the car is arguably the greatest travel invention. The modern cars that we have today are products of centuries of inventions and development.
It is quite difficult to credit the invention of the car to one person since this has been work in progress for so many years. However, we can easily trace the major inventions that helped shape the modern car. The chronology of the car invention is as follows:
Leonardo Da Vinci’s Sketch
The first traces of an automobile can be traced back to Leonardo Da Vinci in 1478. At a time when nobody was thinking about automobiles or anything of the sort, Leonardo Da Vinci sketched the first self-propelled car. The automobile was more like a cart with no seats and unfortunately, the invention ended on paper as it was only a sketch and never manufactured.
Karl Benz is widely regarded as the father of the modern automobiles. In 1886, Karl Benz patented the first three-wheeled motor car. This was an image of the modern car and that is why Karl Benz is credited as the father of the modern automobile and 1886 is also considered as the year of birth of the modern car. Karl Benz also went ahead and patented his own internal combustion engine parts such as the throttle body, carburettor, gear shift and water radiator. Karl Benz’s legacy still lives as he went ahead to build one of the most successful auto company currently under the Daimler group.
Although Karl Benz did patent the first gasoline-powered car, it is important to note that he wasn’t the original visionary of the self-propelled car. Since Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketch, there had been other numerous inventions and advancements in the automotive industry. Some of the great inventors recognized during this period include Frenchman Nicholas-Joseph Cugnot, Robert Anderson from Scotland and Englishman Samuel Brown.
Early in the twentieth century, the automotive revolution was taken over by the Americans and mainly by this man; Henry Ford. Henry Ford is also considered the father of the automotive industry in America and one of the main men who spearheaded the American Industrial revolution. Ford’s Model T, produced in 1908, is the car that propelled the name of Henry Ford to greater heights. Initially, cars were expensive, exclusive and considered more of a luxury rather than a necessity. However, Henry Ford aimed at changing this perception by producing cheaper and more affordable cars that were quickly accepted into the markets. Soon afterward, Ford cars were being sold all over Europe with the Ford Motor Company setting up manufacturing plants in several countries in Europe. At this time, other European automotive manufacturers were quickly coming up such as Fiat in Italy, Citroen in France as well as Morris, Austin and Singer in England.
The modern car
It is no doubt that the journey to the invention of the modern car has been long and winding. Before you think about GPS navigation systems, airbags, anti-lock braking system and leather seats, it is important to know that cars once were made from horse carriages. However, there have been great technological advancements and the modern car can only be described as a dream. The modern car is sophisticated, fast, comfortable and easy to drive. The work in the automobile industry hasn’t stopped yet and newer and better cars are being manufactured daily. The current focus is on alternative means of fuel which has seen an increase in the development of electric cars mainly spearheaded by Tesla.