Automobiles and the Environment


Automobiles are one of the most common forms of transportation on the planet. They give people access to jobs, places to live, and leisure activities. They also brought about many changes in society, such as new laws and government requirements for car safety and highway rules. However, the automobile has also wreaked havoc on the environment. Not only is exhaust from gas-burning cars harmful to the environment, but undeveloped land has been displaced in order to build highways.

Car crashworthiness

Crashworthiness is a crucial aspect of car safety. It focuses on how well a car’s design will keep passengers secure and restrained when they are in an accident. In addition, crashworthiness also looks at how well the car’s structure will disperse forces, and the strength of the roof and seats.

Component parts

Component parts of automobiles are parts of a vehicle that are subject to replacement. These parts are often the subject of disputes over industrial design protection. Manufacturers seek separate protection for these items, arguing that individual features warrant separate protection. The other side argues that the protection would create an unjustified monopoly on replacement parts.

Safety regulations

The first automobile safety regulations were implemented in the 1950s by university researchers and elected officials who were looking for ways to make cars safer. These standards included the use of seat belts and padded dashboards. Eventually, the federal government mandated these as standard equipment on all new cars. By 1971, air bags were also mandated as standard equipment.

Vehicles with four wheels

Four-wheel-drive vehicles are vehicles that can move on any terrain. They are popular among defense forces around the world. Typically, four-wheel-drive vehicles are derived from motorcycle designs and are used in rural settings.

Development of external combustion engines

The development of external combustion engines in automobiles has been a challenge for the automobile industry, particularly in recent decades. There are a number of advantages of an external combustion engine over its internal combustion cousins, notably a lower temperature and higher air-to-fuel ratio. Additionally, external combustion engines don’t need any additional devices to neutralize the exhaust gases.

Body-on-frame construction

Body-on-frame automobiles are heavier and require more fuel than unibody models. They also score lower in crash tests because they lack distinct crumple zones. Vehicle rollover is another concern with body-on-frame vehicles. However, they offer greater ground clearance and strength.

Changes in controls

During the past two decades, controls in automobiles have undergone major changes. Today, carmakers use a variety of different control systems to enhance the driver experience. For example, traction control requires cooperation between the powertrain controller and the brake controller. During the 1990s, driver assistance technologies became a top priority. These included antilock brake systems, traction control, and dynamic stability control. In addition, cruise control has evolved to include forward-looking radar to assist with automatic emergency braking.