Automobiles are four-wheeled motor vehicles that run on roads. They seat one to seven people and have four wheels, and they are constructed primarily for the transportation of people rather than goods. In addition to the engine, a car has other important components such as a transmission, suspension, brakes, and a steering system. In modern cars, there is also a computer that controls the ignition, fueling, and operation of the engine.
The technical building blocks of the automobile go back several hundred years. In the late 1600s, Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens invented a type of internal combustion engine fueled by gunpowder. The earliest automobiles were steam-powered, but by the 1890s Siegfried Marcus developed a gasoline-fueled two-stroke internal combustion engine for an automobile.
In the 1920s, the automobile became the main force for change in American society. It was the largest consumer of petroleum and gasoline, the most important customer for steel and other industrial products, and it created many new jobs. In addition, the assembly line introduced by Henry Ford revolutionized industrial production and made the automobile affordable for middle-class Americans.
Having an automobile gives you the freedom to travel for work or pleasure, and it saves you time when shopping or visiting friends and family. However, a car can also be a major source of pollution and accidents. It is important to learn about the safety features of a vehicle. Then you will be prepared to drive safely and enjoy the ride.