Automobiles are self-driven, four-wheeled vehicles that can transport a person or a group of passengers. They usually run on the road, but they are also used for off-road use.
In the US, cars have replaced horse-drawn carriages. The term “automobile” came from the Greek word “autos”, meaning “self”.
Modern automobiles are complex technical systems. They include thousands of component parts. Manufacturers employ scientists, engineers, and researchers to improve their engines, body designs, and control systems.
An automobile’s stability depends on the distribution of weight. For example, if a car is used on a tight slope, the driver may want to adjust the chassis to minimize the chance of tipping.
Although cars were first built in the nineteenth century, the modern automobile is a product of breakthroughs in technology. It has become a major player in the global transportation industry.
Automobiles are primarily designed for passenger transportation. As a result, they are standardized in their design and marketing. Automakers have also been able to break their market into smaller segments.
There are two main types of automobiles. Firstly, there are internal combustion engines, and then there are external combustion engines. External combustion engines are part of the history of the automobile, but are usually treated separately.
Another type of automobile is the diesel, which is a hydrocarbon fossil fuel. Fossil fuels are limited, and a concern over oil dependency is driving the development of alternative power systems.
These systems include hybrid, electric, and plug-in vehicles. Some companies are working on hydrogen vehicles.