Automobiles are a type of transport vehicle that is used for passenger transportation. They are commonly propelled by an internal combustion engine, using a volatile fuel such as petrol or diesel.
The automobile was developed in Germany and France during the early part of the twentieth century by a group of German and French engineers such as Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, Nicolaus Otto, and Emile Levassor. They were joined by American inventor Henry Ford, who revolutionized industrial manufacturing with his mass-production techniques.
During the 1920s, the United States emerged as one of the world’s leading automobile markets. Compared to European nations, the United States had greater economic prosperity and higher per capita incomes, which helped to fuel demand for cars.
An automobile can be classified into different categories based on the design, size, weight and performance standards of the vehicle. These categories include Light Motor Vehicle (LMV), Medium Motor Vehicle (MMV), Heavy Motor Vehicle (HMV), Multi-axle Bus, Trucks and Trailers.
A modern automobile can be powered by either a gasoline, diesel or CNG engine. The choice of fuel depends on the intended use, the operating conditions, and the cost and availability of the fuel.
The engine of a modern automobile is typically located in the front end or behind the rear axle. This arrangement allows for efficient distribution of weight over all four wheels.
The automobile has evolved into a complex technical system, with thousands of component parts that have been designed to carry out specific functions in order to improve safety and efficiency. These systems include the body, chassis, engine, drivetrain, control systems and emission control systems.