An automobile, motor car o car is a wheeled motor vehicle used fortransporting passengers, which also carries its own engine or motor. Most definitions of the term specify that automobiles are designed to run primarily on roads, to have seating for one to eight people,to typically have four wheels, and to be constructed principally for the transport of people rather than goods. A car is called a car because it is short for the word carriage, which comes from theLatin word, carrus. Carrus means a vehicle with wheels, so yes it is related with its function.
The first working steam-powered vehicle was probably designed by FerdinandVerbiest, a Flemish member of a Jesuit mission in China around 1672. It was a 65 cm-long scale-model toy for the Chinese Emperor, that was unable to carry a driver or a passenger. It is not known ifVerbiest's model was ever built.
Fig. 1 Ferdinand Verbiest
In 1752, Leonty Shamshurenkov, a Russian peasant, constructed a human-pedalled four-wheeled "auto-running"carriage, and subsequently proposed to equip it with odometer and to use the same principle for making a self-propelling sledge.
Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot is widely credited with building the firstself-propelled mechanical vehicle or automobile in about 1769; he created a steam-powered tricycle. He also constructed two steam tractors for the French Army, one of which is preserved in the FrenchNational Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.
Fig. 3 First automobile, created by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot
In 1801, Richard Trevithick built and demonstrated his Puffing Devil road locomotive, believed bymany to be the first demonstration of a steam-powered road vehicle. It was unable to maintain sufficient steam pressure for long periods, and was of little practical use.
An automobile powered...