All Season Driving School Unit: 1.6  
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Unit 1: Driving Responsibilities                                                  

Section 01.F:  History of the automobile


Purpose: Introduce the student to some of the general responsibilities associated with driving, the meaning of a driver license, the importance of driver education, and the impact of the automobile on society.

        Issue        Learning   Objective     References
01.F.01 Automobile, brief history and impact of development 01.F.01(1) Evolving from earlier experiments with steam-powered vehicles, models using the gasoline-fueled internal-combustion engine were first developed by the German engineers Karl Benz (1885) and Gottlieb Daimler (1886). U.S. leadership in automobile production began with Henry Ford’s founding (1903) of the Ford Motor Co., its production (1908) of the inexpensive Model T, and its development of assembly-line techniques. General Motors, Ford’s principal competitor, became the world’s largest automobile manufacturer in the 1920s, and U.S. dominance of the field continued until the 1970s, when it was challenged by growing sales of Japanese and German cars. Concern about pollution from gasoline combustion has led to the development of cars powered by electricity from rechargeable storage batteries and by the combustion of natural gas, but such vehicles have been limited in the distance they can travel and have only been used on a small scale, largely in metropolitan areas. The development of the automobile resulted in major sociological changes and caused new economic conditions.


01.F.01(2) The main sociological changes caused over the years by the automobile include (a) increased mobility of the US population, (b) accelerated development of remote areas that would not have otherwise been accessible, (c) the ability to live farther from places of work (suburbia), (d) increased access to goods and services, (e) urban sprawl, (f) reduced extended family and multi-generational households, and (g) increased access to better education and healthcare.


01.F.01(3) The main economic and health impacts of the automobile over the years including (a) the creation of an industry which employs a significant number of people, (b) the creation of new technologies and industries to support and supply them, (c) a significant monetary cost in injury and property damage, and (d) increased air and  water pollution.


01.F.02 Automobile, the future 01.F.02(1) Future changes in automobile technology are likely to include (a) increased fuel efficiency and new industries to support it, (b) improved safety through engineering research and development (both vehicle and road), (c) increased sophistication of controls and instruments, many of which will contribute to safety.


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