Automobiles are motor vehicles used for transporting people and goods. Most automobiles are powered by internal combustion engines, which burn gasoline or another fuel to create mechanical energy that turns the wheels. Hundreds of different types of automobiles exist. The most common are passenger cars, which are designed to carry a number of passengers in an enclosed space. Other types of automobiles include trucks, which are designed for hauling cargo, and sport utility vehicles (also known as SUVs), which combine passenger and cargo space. Many automobiles use a gasoline-powered engine, but electric and steam engines have also been developed.
The modern automobile is a complex system of interconnected parts that performs a variety of functions. The system includes the engine, which generates power, transmission, brakes and other components that make the automobile run and stop, and electrical and cooling systems that supply water, oil, and electricity to the car.
Having a vehicle allows people to travel long distances quickly and conveniently. In addition, automobiles can provide a sense of security and independence that is not available with public transportation. However, automobiles can also be a major source of air pollution and cause accidents that may hurt or kill people. To reduce accidents and deaths, safety features have been introduced, such as seat belts and laws in many countries that require drivers to wear them. Other improvements have been made to the design and construction of the automobile, including improved aerodynamics and the use of lightweight materials.