An automobile was seen as a simple accessory of luxury in the early years of the past
century. Therefore, it was an expensive asset which none of the common citizen could
afford. It was necessary to pass a long period and waiting for Henry Ford to establish
the first plants with the series fabrication. This new industrial paradigm makes easy to
the common American to acquire an automobile, either for running away or for
The principle of carsharing is simple: individuals gain the benefits of private
vehicle use without the costs and responsibilities of ownership. Carsharing is most
common in major urban areas where transportation alternatives are easily accessible.
Individuals generally access vehicles by joining an organization that maintains a fleet of
cars and light trucks in a network of locations (1, 2). Vehicles are most frequently
deployed from lots located in neighborhoods, at transit stations, or businesses.
The major source of liquid fuels is crude petroleum; other sources are shale and tar sands. Synthetic hydrocarbon fuels—gasoline and methanol—can be made from coal and natural gas. Ethanol, some of which is used as an automotive fuel, is derived from vegetable matter.
In this chapter, we illustrate the usefulness of the systematic design methodology by enumerating a few automotive related mechanisms, including variable-stroke engine mechanisms, constant-velocity shaft couplings, and automatic transmission mechanisms. For each case, we ﬁrst identify the functional requirements. Then, we translate some of the requirements into structural characteristics for the purpose of enumeration of the kinematic structures.