An automobile, or motorcar, is a powered vehicle for transportation on land. Most modern automobiles use an internal combustion engine, fueled most commonly by gasoline (petrol), with four wheels and a chassis. It is one of the most widespread and widely used of all modern technologies, with 73 million automobiles produced in 2017. Automobiles vary by purpose and design, from off-road vehicles to high-speed models built for limited-access highways. They can be powered by a range of engines, including those that run on natural gas, electricity, diesel fuel, and petroleum products such as gasoline.
The automobile changed the world by making it easier for people to travel long distances, which opened up new work possibilities and social opportunities. It also enabled them to enjoy the outdoors and visit other cities or countries. Having your own automobile has many advantages, but it is important to know the pros and cons of owning one.
PROS: Having an automobile means you can get to work or school on time, even when it’s raining or snowing. It also gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want, without having to wait for a bus or taxi. And you can make stops along the way to see places or pick up groceries.
CONS: Automobiles can be dangerous if they are driven recklessly or in bad weather. They can also produce a lot of air pollution, especially when they are used in large numbers. This is because they burn fossil fuels, which create carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. You can limit these emissions by driving a car that gets good gas mileage and by reducing your driving habits.
OTHER CONS: Automobiles can cause traffic congestion when too many people drive them at the same time. They can also be expensive to maintain and repair, especially if you’re not careful about your maintenance schedule. And if you live in a city, traffic jams can be frustrating to navigate. There are ways to avoid traffic jams, such as by taking public transportation or biking.
In the early 1800s, people began to build cars powered by steam. One such vehicle was designed by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot of France in 1769, with a three-wheeled chassis and a steam engine that pushed the vehicle. Other manufacturers made electric-powered automobiles, but these were slow and required their batteries to be recharged.
Karl Benz is generally considered to have invented the first true automobile, in 1885/1886. He designed and built a two-wheeled vehicle that ran on an internal combustion engine, called the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. His design was revolutionary, and he soon started selling it in Germany. Benz’s automobile was the forerunner of most contemporary cars. The modern automobile is still a major source of personal mobility, and it has become a symbol of status. Automobiles are manufactured by a variety of companies, the largest being General Motors and Toyota. Other manufacturers include Volkswagen, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki, and Daimler (now DaimlerChrysler). Some brands specialize in luxury or performance models.