Automobiles are vehicles that can run on any type of road and that usually have four wheels. They are powered by an internal combustion engine, which can be fuelled by gasoline or other types of liquid petroleum gas (such as diesel). The engines power the wheels through a transmission. Most cars carry passengers and are designed to seat from one to eight people. However, some special automobiles are used for specific purposes. Examples include cranes at construction sites and forklifts in warehouses.
Karl Benz, an engineer, is credited with inventing the modern automobile around 1885. Several other engineers and businessmen followed him, including Henry Ford, who revolutionized automobile manufacturing. He introduced assembly lines, which enabled him to produce cars more quickly and at lower costs. That allowed more middle-class families to afford them.
Today, most people can’t imagine life without automobiles. They use them to commute to work or school, go shopping and take family vacations. The automotive industry is a big part of the global economy.
Some people worry about the safety of automobiles. The automobiles of today have many safety features that help protect their passengers in the event of an accident. They are also required by law in most countries to fasten their seat belts and put children into child seats. Some people also prefer to drive smaller vehicles, like sedans and minivans, rather than large SUVs. These smaller vehicles are generally cheaper to maintain and use less gasoline than larger cars.