The automobile is a four or more wheel vehicle, designed to transport passengers and cargo. It is usually powered by a gasoline or diesel engine, although hybrid electric vehicles are also available. The automobile industry was one of the most important forces in twentieth-century America, generating significant economic growth and providing jobs to many workers. It also revolutionized ancillary industries such as steel and petroleum, transforming their production methods. It was a key force in the development of a consumer goods society and was an important factor in changing urban life.
Historically, cars have been manufactured by several large companies, which consolidated to become the dominant producers by the 1920s. The automobile was originally invented and perfected in Germany and France, but Henry Ford introduced mass-production techniques that made the car affordable. American cars quickly became the world’s standard, with General Motors and Chrysler emerging as the “Big Three” manufacturers. By the 1950s the automobile became a global industry, with Japan joining the ranks of the top makers.
In modern times, the automobile is the most common mode of transportation for people, with more than a billion in use worldwide. Having your own automobile gives you freedom from relying on others for transportation, which makes it easier to get to work, shop, run errands and visit family and friends. It saves you time when getting around, allowing you to spend more time doing the things that are important to you.
There are many different types of automobiles, from small economy vehicles to luxury sports cars. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Aside from the differences in appearance and design, there are some basic components that are shared by all automobiles. These include the engine, chassis, suspension system, and wheels.
Automobiles are a major part of our everyday lives, and without them we cannot imagine the luxuries that the modern world has to offer. The branch of engineering that deals with the manufacturing and technologies related to automobiles is known as Automobile Engineering.
The automobile has brought many changes to the modern world, from the creation of leisure activities like golf and tennis, to the development of services such as motels and hotels. It has also caused problems, such as air pollution from exhaust systems and the loss of land for roads and parking lots. In addition, automobile accidents can be extremely dangerous, and many of them are fatal.
The automobile has been the source of much technological progress, including electric ignition and starting (developed by Charles Kettering for the General Motors Corporation in 1910), independent suspension, four-wheel brakes, and the automotive assembly line (introduced by Ransom Eli Olds at his Oldsmobile factory in 1902). Other technical developments include fuel injection and lubrication, internal combustion engines with spark plugs, hydraulic brakes, and modern computerized control systems. Although the pistonless rotary engine, developed by Mazda in the 1970s, has had limited success, many manufacturers continue to develop new and innovative power trains.