An Automobile is a self-propelled motor vehicle designed to transport passengers and cargo. It is generally four-wheeled and runs on gasoline or another liquid petroleum product (LPG), though diesel, electric, and hybrid vehicles are also produced.
The term “automobile” is derived from the German word Automobil, which translates as “car” or “motor car”. However, the concept of a vehicle with a permanent internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline or other LPG had been around since at least 1806. A number of early efforts to produce automobiles were not successful, but the first modern-day motorcar was built in Germany in 1885, and patented by Karl Benz on 29 January 1886.
Initially, the car was intended to replace horse-drawn carriages. A major breakthrough came in 1888 when Bertha Benz drove her husband’s automobile for a distance of 106 km, which proved practical and gained widespread publicity.
In the 1920s, the production of new cars rose rapidly. But in the 1930s, as the market grew, competition sharpened, and the industry reached saturation. As a result, automobile oligopoly developed and grew.
Automotive technology continued to improve in the 1940s and 1950s, with developments such as the all-steel body, automatic transmission, and drop-frame construction. The automobile’s weight also dropped significantly over this period, leading to a dramatic increase in fuel efficiency and the emergence of the sport-utility vehicle.
Today, an automobile is a vital part of the world’s economy and society. It is the most universal of all modern technologies, and one of the largest industries in the world.
Automobiles are the primary mode of transportation for the majority of people, with 590 million vehicles on the road worldwide as of 2002. They are used to move people and goods, and they play an important role in urban life.
Several different types of automobiles are available, depending on the size, design, and price of the vehicle. The most common type is the passenger car, which is typically a small car with seating for between one and seven passengers.
Luxury cars are often large traditional limousine saloons, but can also be oversized hatchbacks or demure SUVs. They are preferred by high-end executives and offer excellent comfort both in the front and back seats, a silky smooth ride, excellent drivability, refinement and performance. They are also usually equipped with high levels of in-car technology and connectivity systems that allow these vehicles to serve as mobile offices.
These vehicles can have many different features, such as air conditioning, a radio, a CD player, an MP3 player, and a phone. These features are added to enhance the overall driving experience, and can make a vehicle more attractive for a wider range of buyers.
They can be equipped with a number of safety features, including tire pressure monitoring, antilock brakes, and stability control. These features can help drivers to avoid collisions and other dangerous situations, which is why they are mandatory in some countries.
They can also be equipped with technologies that reduce the cost of driving, such as lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. These features can make driving more convenient and safer, as they can detect a driver’s speed, steering direction, and braking distance. They can also warn the driver if there is a vehicle approaching from behind or in front, which can help them to avoid a collision.