A motor vehicle used for passenger transportation that usually consists of four or more wheels and is propelled by an internal combustion engine. They may also be powered by electric energy, such as batteries or solar cells, or by a combination of these sources.
The automobile has played a significant role in changing our world since it was invented in the mid-1800s. It revolutionized industry and technology, gave people more personal freedom, and opened up new jobs and services.
Today, the United States population drives more than 4.8 trillion kilometers (three trillion miles) every year on average. Cars help us get to work, school, and shopping.
Originally, automobiles were designed for people who wanted to drive themselves around town. But by the end of the 20th century, they were the primary means of family transport in most countries.
A major development in automobile design was the introduction of assembly lines, a manufacturing technique that made it possible to produce thousands of cars at once. This streamlined production and helped to make the automobile a global enterprise.
Modern automobiles are complex technical systems, which employ thousands of subsystems with specific design functions. These include engines, transmissions, brakes, and steering mechanisms.
They are also influenced by safety laws, regulations, and the need to keep fuel costs low. These factors can lead to changes in vehicle size, design, and safety features.
The automobile has become the backbone of our society, a global industry that provides more than one out of six jobs in the United States. It has changed the way we live and travel, and it has provided a platform for many progressive ideas.