The reinvention of the automobile – safer, greener & electric

Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz's revolutionary invention - the automobile - first hit the road 125 years ago. Ever since, the automobile has moved the world - and not just by moving people from A to B. It is one of the keys to individual independence. Wherever the number of cars increases, human opportunity expands. Consider that, before the invention of the automobile, the "average European" travelled only 20 km per year. Today it's at least the same distance per day - and most of it by car. Driving a car gives you a whole new perspective: You take control.

But the influence of the car goes far beyond the individual freedom it provides: It is also a pre-requisite for economic prosperity. You simply couldn't imagine modern economies without cars and commercial vehicles. In Europe alone, the auto industry generates more than 370 billion euros of tax revenues per year. Millions of families worldwide directly depend on the auto industry - and there is yet another billion whose jobs in other sectors also require auto-mobility.

Because of all that, the automobile has become a tremendous success story - and there are many chapters yet to be written: By the time we celebrate the 150th birthday of the automobile, the number of cars worldwide will likely have doubled over today. The lion's share of this growth will stem from emerging economies. At the same time, the success of the automobile in countries like India or China also leads to its greatest challenge: As more and more people discover the advantages of the car, we must continue to minimize its impact on the environment and make each vehicle ever cleaner.