‘If GM had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 MPG.’ ~ Bill Gates
The motoring and transport industry has a come along way since the invention of the motor vehicle. The following are some interesting facts that you may not know about the automobile.
Automobiles have been around since as early as 1769, when the first steam engine powered automobiles were produced. In 1807, Francois Isaac de Rivaz designed the first car that was powered by an internal combustion engine running on fuel gas.
The most expensive car ever sold at a public auction was a 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R Formula 1 race car, which went for a staggering $30 million at Bonhams in July 2013. The record was previously held by a 1957 Ferrari Testa Rossa Prototype, sold in California at an auction for $16.4 million.
Volkswagen named several of its cars after wind. Passat - a German word for trade wind; Golf - Gulf stream; Polo - polar winds; Jetta - jet stream.
In August 1888, Carl Benz's wife, Bertha Benz, became the first person to drive a car over a long distance. Without telling her husband she drove one of their Benz Patent-Motorwagens along with her two eldest sons from a town called Mannheim in southern Germany to Pforzheim. Automobile trips before this were usually short drives, she wanted to prove the automobile they had invented was a useful contraption, that the general public could use.
Bertha Benz's road trip was a pioneering drive and a key event in the technical development of the car. Covering 106 km (66 miles) each way she did the round trip in two days, solving numerous problems on the way. When the brakes needed repairing she invented brake lining. She used a hatpin to clean a blocked fuel pipe and insulated a wire with a garter. She located fuel at the city pharmacy in Wiesloch (hailed as the first fuel station in the world) and on her return home made other suggestions, such as the need of another gear for climbing hills.
In 2010 it was estimated that there were over 1 billion vehicles in the world, up from half a billion in 1986. The number of cars on the road continues to increase rapidly year on year especially in developing countries such as India and China.
Fully autonomous vehicles (driverless cars) currently exist in prototype (Google has developed a driverless car). These cars are expected to be available commercially around the year 2020. Autonomous cars could help to reduce the number of vehicles needed on the road and dramatically increase safety.
For more information on where to purchase, hire or even repair a car, visit http://yellow.co.ke/search?q=cars&l=.