1769: Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot builds the first self-propelled mechanical vehicle, a steam-powered tricycle.
1807: François Isaac de Rivaz develops the first internal combustion engine, powered by a mixture of hydrogen and oxygen.
1885: Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz independently develop gasoline-powered internal combustion engines and build the first motor vehicles.
1899: The first automobile race, from Paris to Rouen, is held.
1908: Henry Ford introduces the Model T, the first automobile produced on an assembly line, making cars affordable for the middle class.
1913: The Ford Motor Company introduces the moving assembly line, which dramatically increases production efficiency and reduces costs.
1924: The first synchronized traffic signal system is installed in Cleveland, Ohio.
1939-1945: World War II leads to advancements in automotive technology and the production of military vehicles.
1960s: The muscle car era, with high-performance cars designed for straight-line acceleration and speed, becomes popular.
1970s: Environmental concerns and fuel shortages lead to the development of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars.
1997: Toyota introduces the first mass-produced hybrid car, the Prius, which uses a combination of gasoline and electric power.
2008: Tesla Motors introduces the Tesla Roadster, the first all-electric sports car, ushering in a new era of electric vehicles.
2021: Electric cars continue to gain popularity and market share, with major automakers such as General Motors, Ford, and Volkswagen announcing plans to phase out gasoline-powered vehicles in the coming decades.