Automobiles are a means of transportation that uses a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine to move on land. The word is derived from Ancient Greek autos (self) and French mobile (movable). The modern automobile is one of the most widely used of all modern technologies. Its technological building blocks were first laid in the late 1600s when Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens invented a type of internal combustion engine sparked by gunpowder. Steam cars and electric cars were developed soon after, but these had a limited range and required lengthy time for recharging.
The development of the automobile revolutionized societies by giving people freedom of long-distance movement and allowing for the flexible distribution of goods and services. The automobile was also a major contributor to the rise of leisure activities and helped to create new types of industries such as hotels and restaurants, amusement parks and recreation. However, the automobile has brought with it negative effects such as pollution from gas-burning engines and sprawl (sprawling low-density urban development).
The main components of an automobile are the chassis, engine, transmission system, and control systems. The chassis of an automobile incorporates all the major assemblies that are meant for the support and control of the vehicle such as clutch assembly, gearbox, propeller shaft, axles, and suspension system. There are many other small parts that are involved in the automobiles for making it work effectively. Depending on its use and purpose, the automobiles can be designed with different combinations of these parts.