December 10, 2022

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Car History Timeline: From 3-Wheeled Buggies to Self-Driving Vehicles

Few inventions in history have transformed our lives, culture and environment as much as the automobile. Before 1900, most people spent their lives within a few miles of where they were born. Cars changed all that, allowing people to travel easily, with empowering freedom and autonomy. Henry Ford’s Model T—and factory assembly line—opened a world of mass production, echoed today in every sneaker and smartphone. During World War II, Detroit’s automakers helped secure Allied victory by transforming their factories into “arsenals of democracy,” producing jeeps, tanks, fighter planes and more. After the war, highways began girdling the globe, giving birth to suburbia, the Interstate, the road trip, the drive-in. Hollywood and TV heightened the fantasy, amplifying the endless allure of speed, racing, exploration and adventure.