Automobiles are wheeled motor vehicles that carry one or more passengers and use an internal combustion engine to move. They run on a fuel, usually gasoline (petrol), but they can also use alternative energy sources like electricity. They have a steering wheel to help you turn and brakes to slow or stop them. Some even have air conditioning to keep you comfortable while you drive.
Many people can’t imagine life without automobiles. They commute to work or school, go shopping, and take family vacations in them. The automobile industry is one of the largest in the world and provides jobs to thousands of people. But automobiles are also very polluting and can drain dwindling world oil supplies.
Karl Benz, a German engineer, invented the first modern automobile in 1885. He used a four-stroke internal combustion engine to power his car. Other inventors and engineers built and improved upon his design. By the 1920s, cars had become commonplace in the United States. People drove them over three trillion miles (five trillion kilometres) per year. They shaped urban planning, spawned industries to manufacture automobile parts and fuel, and created services like gas stations and hotels.
But automobiles can be dangerous if they’re driven recklessly or not maintained properly. They can also be expensive if you don’t get them insured properly. In addition, they can cause a lot of air pollution, which can be unhealthy for people and animals. That’s why we need to be smarter about how we use cars.