The early history of the automobile can be divided into a number of eras based on the prevalent means of propulsion later periods were defined by trends in exterior styling size and utility preferences in 1769 the first steam powered automobile capable of human transportation was built by nicolas joseph cugnot in 1808 francois isaac de rivaz designed the first car powered by an . There are many different types of automobiles steam electric and gasoline as well as countless styles exactly who invented the automobile is a matter of opinion if we had to give credit to one inventor it would probably be karl benz from germany. Automobile history of the automobile unlike many other major inventions the original idea of the automobile cannot be attributed to a single individual the idea certainly occurred long before it was first recorded in the iliad in which homer in alexander popes translation states that vulcan in a single day made 20 tricycles which leonardo da vinci considered the idea of a self . The growth of automobile use and the increasing resistance to road building have made our highway systems both congested and obsolete but new electronic vehicle technologies that permit cars to navigate around the congestion and even drive themselves may soon become possible
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