The automobile, engine of today’s society


The documentary Ideas that changed the world, by Movistar +, explains how the car has been a revolution for society, going from the first animal-drawn vehicle in prehistory to the first car created by Carl Benz.

The automobile is one of the inventions that have most revolutionized the history of humanity. The car is considered by many to be a symbol of freedom and also the hallmark of a country.

There are currently 32,000 million cars in circulation that help us travel long distances in a matter of hours when our ancestors took days to complete. But the question is, how did you come up with the idea of looking for a vehicle to take less time?

The documentary Ideas that revolutionized the world, available on Movistar +, tells us about the evolution of an invention that has become an indispensable element for many users.

From walking to the invention of the wheel and axle

In Prehistory, in the Ice Age to be exact, the human being traveled on foot and traveled many kilometers daily. But they saw that they were not as fast as the animals that inhabited at that time and that became a problem for hunting.

For this reason, they began to use sleds pulled by domestic wolves. The problem is that the use of the sled was only effective in terrain such as snow.

To move around other terrains, wheels and axles emerged, although they were imprecise tools, and a stronger material was needed that could be molded with precision like the iron that appeared in Mesopotamian times.

The engine and the industrial revolution

With the arrival of the steam engine, the idea of using this creation as an engine appears. James Watt was the pioneer in creating a steam engine and perfected the external combustion engine by becoming a much more powerful engine thanks to the piston cooling system.

Watt’s advancement resulted in steam being used as a viable energy source and fueled one of humanity’s greatest breakthroughs: the Industrial Revolution.

There was only one unforeseen, the steam engine was too big and would only serve for the railway.

The first car and its marketing strategy

To talk about the first car we have to go back years after the industrial revolution when Carl Benz created the first car in history.

Benz used an engine identical to Watt’s, but small in size and used a petroleum derivative as fuel, which, at the time, was sold in pharmacies.

The Benz car was a great novelty, but there was a drawback: in 1886 there were no infrastructures such as gas stations and workshops. For this reason, the invention of Carl Benz was a failure and failed to sell a single vehicle.

So how did you manage to be so successful? The reason why he succeeded was thanks to Carl Benz’s wife, Bertha Benz, who demonstrated that the car was capable of long journeys.

As it did? She used her husband’s prototype for a trip more than a hundred kilometers away. Along the way, Bertha Benz was adding elements that would mean a revolution for the means of transport such as the brake shoe.

This fact reached the ears of the world and served as an advertising maneuver so that the new invention was the most requested by users.

A future with autonomous cars?

Since the creation of the first vehicle until today, the car has been in constant evolution.

Currently, electric cars are the order of the day, but achievement has also been achieved that a priori could be impossible that is the use of smart cars.

The intelligent vehicles are being used to avoid any risks relating to the driver and occupants on the road. At Telefónica, with the collaboration of SEAT and DGT, they are betting on a system of cars connected with drones to prevent all kinds of dangers found on the route.

The next step is to get autonomous vehicles that are capable of moving on their own. They already exist, although there is plenty of time for us to see these models more frequently on our roads.


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