How Long Have Cars Been Around?

Cars in their modern form have been around since 1885, when German engineer Karl Benz made the first working automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. Prior to Benz's creation, steam-powered automobiles had been in use for transporting people and cargo.

Karl Benz built his first automobile in 1885. Three years later, his wife, Bertha, performed the first long-distance test drive from Mannheim to Pforzheim and back. That same year, Benz began mass production of his vehicles.

Earlier versions of the automobile existed as far back as the 1700s, according to the University of Colorado Boulder. Nicolas Joseph Cugnot made an artillery tractor in France in 1770, and William Murdoch created a working steam carriage in 1801.