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The emotional connection between a person and an automobile. Why do we hold on so much to our cars?

Let's take a brief look at the history of cars and consider the motives for their creation.

The year is 1869. One day, traveling by carriage with his future wife Berta, the German engineer Karl Benz promises her that in a few years, humanity will no longer need horses and carriages. At that time, this was a rather utopian idea. And a quite vague one. Then Benz fantasizes about locomotives without rails, which move freely on roads and meadows.  Was the German inventor in his right mind, uttering such a utopian thought at a time, where not one machine was stronger than a horse, and when no one could imagine a carriage without a harnessed animal in its front?

The emotional connection between a person and an automobile.

Steam engines were in fashion at the time of industrialization. But the place for these tons heavy metal monsters that spew fire, was still in the factories and on the rails. And no one could imagine them on the road amongst people. On the contrary, many people then were scared of the technical revolution.

It seems that Benz was in his right mind, because in 1885, he creates the first tricycle, driven by a four-cycle, single-cylinder gasoline engine. As you can see for yourself, Benz was able to see the limitations that humanity faced - still relying on animals as their main mode of transportation. A visionary and entrepreneur - he foresaw what changes the motorization of vehicles could bring. At that time, the automobile fever had not yet swept the world - there were no real roads yet between cities, nor signs and signposts. Gas stations had not yet been invented, and gasoline was first sold in pharmacies as a cleaning agent.

Henry Ford, who introduced conveyor-belt-based assembly lines in his car factories in 1913, said: "If you had asked people what they wanted, they would have said - faster horses." No one imagined that the automobile would become an integral part of our daily life. Ford became the largest car manufacturer in the world. Throughout the 125-year history of the automobile, a total of 2.4 billion units have been manufactured in the world. People's lives were being changed by their rapid spread and the distance between cities and countries was being reduced. Almost no people were leaving their birthplace by the end of the 19-th century. However, with the help of the car, they began to explore the world. The automobile rediscovered new horizons for humanity and it is not surprising that the patent-protected car by Karl Benz, was declared the most important technical invention that led the way to the 20th century. People were starting to develop various needs related to it - some need it to be small and economical, others - fast and powerful and the third kind needed it to be comfortable and convenient.

Today, we know that pioneers such as Henry Ford and Karl Benz were paving the road to today's "mobile" society.

Cars are an integral part of the privatization, individualization, and emotionalization of consumer society as a whole. That is mainly due to the popular pleasures of freedom that they give us - mobility, power, and speed. Over the years, cars have undergone more and more changes and improvements in an attempt to meet the needs of the end customer.   They are deeply immersed in our everyday life and in how we interact with the physical world. The car not only appeals to the obvious aesthetic and kinestical meaning, but changes the way we perceive the world and the ability of human bodies to interact with this world through the visual, auditory, olfactory, interceptive and proprioceptive senses. We not only feel the car, but we also feel through and with it. This contributes to changing how car users evaluate their feelings and what to experience when they pass through the world and feel their movement.

My nephew is one year old, and is already excitedly expecting car trips. While I put him in his child car seat, his face lights up and he starts looking around in anticipation, and before we leave he looks towards the window and waits for the show to start. And when it does, he constantly looks through the window until he falls asleep. It is clear, many babies enjoy the kinesthetic experience of riding in a car and soon begin to play with toy cars, ride in children-sized cars and begin to learn to identify various types of car brands. Of course, adults also react to the movement of the car, but in different ways. We all have different perceptions of the changing horizons, the fast breeze, the changing smells and feelings when the car shifts gears or the way it moves when doing a turn. For some, this movement brings a feeling of happiness, excitement or expectation, while for others it brings fear, anxiety or nausea.

For many years, cars have been an integral part of our everyday life. Over the years, they evolve and constantly change. Gradually, we are beginning to enter a new era - the era of the electric vehicles. But do they have a future? Are they really more environmentally friendly to both nature and man? What if it's time to replace cars with another way of transportation, for example, by air? Is it possible that this will awake different senses within us and we will begin to perceive the world in a completely different way? Perhaps yes, but this is another topic that we will address another time.

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