Some facts - Alternatives to car use
Established alternatives for some aspects of car use include public transit such as buses, trolleybuses, trains, subways, tramways light rail, cycling, and walking. Car-share arrangements and carpooling are also increasingly popular, in the US and Europe.75 For example, in the US, some car-sharing services have experienced double-digit growth in revenue and membership growth between 2006 and 2007. Services like car sharing offering a residents to "share" a vehicle rather than own a car in already congested neighborhoods.76 Bike-share systems have been tried in some European cities, including Copenhagen and Amsterdam. Similar programs have been experimented with in a number of US Cities.77 Additional individual modes of transport, such as personal rapid transit could serve as an alternative to cars if they prove to be socially accepted.
Electric motor - history
Perhaps the first electric motors were simple electrostatic devices created by the Scottish monk Andrew Gordon in the 1740s.2 The theoretical principle behind production of mechanical force by the interactions of an electric current and a magnetic field, Amp?re's force law, was discovered later by André-Marie Amp?re in 1820. The conversion of electrical energy into mechanical energy by electromagnetic means was demonstrated by the British scientist Michael Faraday in 1821. A free-hanging wire was dipped into a pool of mercury, on which a permanent magnet (PM) was placed. When a current was passed through the wire, the wire rotated around the magnet, showing that the current gave rise to a close circular magnetic field around the wire.3 This motor is often demonstrated in physics experiments, brine substituting for toxic mercury. Though Barlow's wheel was an early refinement to this Faraday demonstration, these and similar homopolar motors were to remain unsuited to practical application until late in the century.
Jedlik's "electromagnetic self-rotor", 1827 (Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest). The historic motor still works perfectly today.4
In 1827, Hungarian physicist Ányos Jedlik started experimenting with electromagnetic coils. After Jedlik solved the technical problems of the continuous rotation with the invention of the commutator, he called his early devices "electromagnetic self-rotors". Although they were used only for instructional purposes, in 1828 Jedlik demonstrated the first device to contain the three main components of practical DC motors: the stator, rotor and commutator. The device employed no permanent magnets, as the magnetic fields of both the stationary and revolving components were produced solely by the currents flowing through their windings
About cars - safety
Road traffic accidents are the largest cause of injury-related deaths worldwide.6 Mary Ward became one of the first documented car fatalities in 1869 in Parsonstown, Ireland,43 and Henry Bliss one of the United States' first pedestrian car casualties in 1899 in New York City.44 There are now standard tests for safety in new cars, such as the EuroNCAP and the US NCAP tests,45 and insurance-industry-backed tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).46
Worldwide, road traffic is becoming ever safer, in part due to efforts by the government to implement safety features in cars (e.g., seat belts, air bags, etc.), reduce unsafe driving practices (e.g., speeding, drinking and driving and texting and driving) and make road design more safe by adding features such as speed bumps, which reduce vehicle speed, and roundabouts, which reduce the likelihood of a head-on-collision (as compared with an intersection).