Automobiles are primarily used to transport people, goods and other objects. They are made in different shapes, sizes and types. Some automobiles can carry a large number of passengers. There are also special purpose vehicles. For instance, ambulances, fire brigades, and milk vans are examples of these.
Today’s automobiles use thousands of component parts. These include the engine, body, drivetrain, and other systems. Manufacturers develop new designs and improve the safety features.
In early days, automobiles were powered by steam engines. The engines were heavy and difficult to control. A few years later, inventor Carl Benz invented an internal combustion engine. He patented the Benz-Motorwagen in 1886. This invention changed the way many automobiles were built.
Today, most road vehicles are powered by an internal combustion engine. Diesel, gasoline, or compressed natural gas (CNG) are common fuels. Electric power is also commonly used. Compressed natural gas has less toxic emissions and is often used in public transportation vehicles.
Automobiles are a vital part of our society. In fact, they are the lifeline of our civilization. However, they can cause serious damage to the environment. Their excessive use can lead to traffic congestion, air pollution, and climate change.
Today, automobiles can be made in a variety of different styles, from sports cars to minivans. Manufacturers have created a global market for these vehicles. Approximately 1.4 billion passenger cars are currently in operation. Of those, one quarter is in the United States.