What Are Automobiles?

Automobiles are a major mode of transportation that is powered by an internal combustion engine and fueled by a volatile fuel. These vehicles provide a freedom that is not available with other forms of transportation such as trains or buses. Whether you are going on a road trip or running errands, having a car is an essential tool for getting around. This is especially true for people that live in areas with limited public transportation or for those that need to transport large items.

The automobile was invented in the late 1800s by Karl Benz and was perfected by many other engineers and inventors over the next century. It was a huge step forward from the first steam and electric cars which were very primitive. The invention of the automobile changed the way we think about transportation and created new industries and jobs.

By the 1920s, the automobile had become a key force in modern society. It was a backbone of a consumer goods-oriented economy and it provided one out of every six industrial jobs in the United States. It was also a driving force in development of better roads and transportation systems. It was the most important user of petroleum and gasoline and the largest customer of steel and other industrial products. It was also the originator of many new service industries such as gas stations and convenience stores.

The automobile is a complex technical system that employs thousands of subsystems with specific design functions. These systems have evolved from a combination of breakthroughs in existing technology, as well as advances made possible by the development of electronic computers, high-strength plastics and new alloys of steel and nonferrous metals.