Automobiles are wheeled vehicles powered by engines and used for transporting passengers or goods. They use gasoline, diesel fuel or other liquids to run their internal combustion engines and convert their mechanical energy into kinetic energy that drives the car’s wheels. Modern automobiles usually have an electric starter motor to provide the force needed for the engine’s initial motion, and they rely on a battery to supply the electrical energy that runs their sensors and other equipment.
Thousands of individual parts make up the modern automobile, and its design is a delicate balance of many factors, including safety, reliability, cost and efficiency. The automobile’s internal combustion engine, the heart of its operation, uses a complex series of systems resembling those in the human body to cool its fluids, lubricate and burn its fuel and distribute power throughout the vehicle.
The automobile has a long history in Europe, where Karl Benz invented the first prototype in 1886 with his Benz Patent-Motorwagen, which used a four-stroke, piston-type internal-combustion engine. During the early 1900s, Henry Ford’s introduction of mass production techniques in the United States revolutionized automotive manufacturing, and his Model T put the automobile within the reach of most middle-class Americans.
A major benefit of an automobile is the freedom it gives its owners to travel, whether for work, shopping or visiting friends and family. Automobiles also give people more control over their own schedules, allowing them to plan ahead and avoid waiting for others or rushing to meet buses and trains.
Cars allow families to take road trips together, which can be a fun and educational way to spend time with children. Having a car can also be beneficial during emergencies, when you don’t want to have to wait on someone else to pick you up or when your child is sick and needs to go to the hospital.
In the developed world, a growing number of individuals rely on automobiles to get them from one place to another. These transportation vehicles contribute to urban sprawl and degrade the environment, but they enable workers to commute to jobs in remote locations and allow businesses to distribute products more easily and rapidly. They have revolutionized the lives of many people around the globe, but they can also be dangerous.
An automobile is a motorized vehicle that has a chassis with four or more wheels, and it can carry two to six passengers as well as cargo. It gets its name from the French auto- (self) + mobilité (mobility), as a nod to the fact that it moves itself without being pulled by horses like a Bullock cart or Horse carriage. In addition to its driving system, an automobile typically has a fuel tank and various other systems for cooling, lubricating, lighting and safety. Many automobiles are also equipped with a radio and air conditioning. They also have a tachometer and odometer to measure speed and distance traveled. Most have a steering wheel for directional control and a brake for slowing or stopping the vehicle.