Over the years, the electric bumper cars have been a very popular amusement ride at carnivals, fairs and circuses. The cars which are protected by a large rubber ring, or a bumper at the lower level of the car, are designed to bump into each other without harming the individual driving the car.
Typically, they are powered by a connection to a ceiling that is electrified which is attached a long rod with a connector at the end with one end on the ceiling and one end attached to the car.
The ride will run for a certain length of time, say 5 or 10 minutes where the drivers of the cars will drive willy-nilly towards each other and the fun begins. Laughter and fun is the result of the ride which will often have people waiting in line to take their turn at the bumper cars.
The original bumper cars were the ones developed in Great Britain and those were called Dodgem cars. Most authoritative sources give credit to the bumper car concept to a man named William Thurston, and his company the Thurston Company has been a manufacturer of the cars for years, and have been used in carnivals, fairs and similar events for a long time.
The cars travel along an open floor and can go forward or in reverse, and operate on a metal floor with a metal roof that is electrified. The cars have a metal pole that is attached to the car and reaches to the ceiling, and as it touches the ceiling, it receives the power to run the car.
Today there are many variations of car styles, but they are still a very popular attraction with Disneyland having their own varieties based on Disney themes. People love to have fun, and bumper cars are built just for that purpose.