Automobiles are a form of transportation, usually having four wheels and an internal combustion engine fueled most often by gasoline, a liquid petroleum product. They are used for passenger transport and for moving larger amounts of cargo, such as freight and vehicles.
The automobile has changed many aspects of society. It gave people access to jobs and services, helped develop better roads and transportation, and allowed them to travel more quickly and safely. It also brought new leisure activities, such as vacation travel and restaurants.
Motor vehicles have a variety of systems that interact with each other to make them safe and efficient. These include the engine, the fuel system, the exhaust system, the lubrication system, the electrical system, the transmission, and the chassis.
These systems work together to drive the wheels, control speed and power, regulate heat, and reduce noise. They are made of hundreds of different parts.
Cars are very expensive to own and operate. They need maintenance, insurance, gas, registration and parking. They can cost upward of $10,000 a year per vehicle to own.
They are also extremely harmful to the environment, emitting pollution and taking up a large amount of land that could be used for other things. They also cause air pollution, which can lead to climate change.
The automobile was first perfected in Germany and France by Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler in the 1880s. They were followed by Henry Ford, who changed cars from hand-crafted machines to mass-produced transportation appliances.