In the early 1900s there were dozens of automobile manufacturers in the United States, and many more worldwide. Many of these manufacturers and automobile parts companies joined trade groups that met their needs for promoting business and raising public awareness of this new form of transportation. A need for patent protection, common technical design problems, and the development of engineering standards was quickly emerging, however, and many engineers in the automobile business expressed a desire to have "free exchange of ideas" in order to expand their individual technical knowledge base.