Automobiles are four or more wheeled vehicles designed primarily for transporting passengers and are usually propelled by an internal combustion engine powered by volatile fuel. Automobiles are a complex technical system containing thousands of subsystems with specific design functions. Historically, automobiles have been powered by steam, electric, and gasoline internal combustion engines; however, with technological development, the automotive industry has moved on to alternative fuel sources like hybrid and electric power.
The invention of the automobile has radically changed the United States and most of the world. It has provided people with freedom and access to jobs and services. It also spawned new industries and services to meet consumer demand, such as the construction of highways, cars, and car parts. The automobile has also brought with it negative consequences such as pollution, noise, and loss of undeveloped land for other uses.
Having your own vehicle is very convenient and makes life easier compared to having to depend on public transportation. With your own car, you can avoid traffic and spend more time with your family. Moreover, you can drive to places you would not be able to go with public transport, such as a vacation destination or a sporting event.
Although many people claim to have invented the automobile, it is known for sure that Karl Benz built the first motorwagen in 1885 and Bertha Benz drove her husband’s car over 106 kilometers on January 29, 1888, thereby proving its practicality. The first automobiles were very expensive, but as production increased, prices began to fall. In the 1920s Alfred P. Sloan introduced the model-year concept, wherein automobiles were offered in different price ranges with similar mechanical features.