Automobiles are four-wheeled passenger vehicles powered by internal combustion engines that run on gasoline or other fuel. The word “automobile” comes from the Greek prefix “auto” (self) and the Latin word “mobilis” (“moving”). The modern automobile is a complex technical system involving many subsystems designed to interact and support each other. The design of these subsystems is influenced by many factors, including government safety and pollution standards, consumer demand for specific features, the ability to transport goods or equipment, and technological advances in engine, chassis, suspension, electrical systems, and other components.
The automobile was one of the most important inventions of modern times. It opened the way to large-scale production of a wide range of goods, as well as to the spread of cities, and increased the quality of life in the developed world. Today, automobiles are essential to most countries’ economies and social structures. They carry 1.4 billion passengers each year and cover more than three trillion miles, or five trillion kilometers.
Owning a vehicle opens up opportunities for people to live and work in different places, which means they can spend more time with their family and friends. It also allows them to travel faster and more comfortably compared to using public transportation, and to avoid the stress of being late for an appointment or meeting. The freedom that cars provide also lets them take a vacation with their families, or to visit relatives in another state.