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Early car, Timestream

An early automobile as seen in the time stream

An automobile was an ancient Earth device used primarily for transportation of people, goods, and materials.

Automobiles were also seen as a source of status and virility. They were "often a prime ingredient in teenage mating rituals." (TNG: "The Big Goodbye")

Typically, automobiles were self-propelled vehicles designed for land-based travel, and were in common usage during the 20th, 21st, and early 22nd centuries. This design predated the hovercar. (VOY: "The 37's")

The Ford Model T was considered the first production model automobile of the 20th century. (TNG: "A Matter of Time")

Through the first half of the 21st century, they employed fossil fuels to power an internal combustion engine. (ENT: "Carpenter Street")

During a trip back in time to Detroit circa 2004, Jonathan Archer told T'Pol that Humans had known since the 1970s that Earth's fossil fuel supply was limited. He began to tell her about a noteworthy event in 2061 related to this issue, but his explanation was interrupted by their mission.

After Jonathan Archer restored a damaged timeline, an early automobile could be seen in the time stream as the timeline realigned itself. (ENT: "Storm Front, Part II")

Examples of automobiles included, most commonly, cars, but also encompassed jeeps, trucks, vans, and buses.

Automobiles were also present on several worlds other than Earth. The planet Sigma Iotia II possessed a technology level comparable to 1930s Earth, complete with paved roads and Model T type automobiles. (TOS: "A Piece of the Action") On Planet 4 of System 892, an internal combustion engine driven automobile, called the Jupiter 8, was manufactured in 2268. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

On the Federation colony planet Omicron Ceti III, there were no automobiles or any other vehicles used by the settlers of the planet, as it wasn't thought to be necessary, because the purpose of the colony was to "return to a simple life." (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")

In 2285 at the San Francisco bar, a Federation Security agent offered to give Doctor McCoy a ride home, giving the implication that the doctor was too drunk to drive an automobile. The real reason he offered him a ride home was because McCoy was negotiating payment to an alien that he was going to hire him to get off-world to the forbidden planet known as Genesis. After the Security agent asked him for a ride McCoy answered: "What's the logic in offering me a ride home you idiot?! If I wanted a ride home would I be trying to charter a spaceflight?!" (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

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