An automobile is a self-propelled vehicle used for transportation that has four to eight wheels and is powered by an internal combustion engine or electric motor. It carries passengers and is designed to navigate roads. Its design and production are called automotive engineering.
The modern automobile was perfected in Germany and France toward the end of the nineteenth century by Gottlieb Daimler, Karl Benz, and Nicolaus Otto. But it was Henry Ford who revolutionized the industry by using large-scale, assembly-line manufacturing to make cars affordable for mass personal use. His Model T runabout was produced at a price that was less than the average annual wage in the United States, and by 1927 there were fifteen million of them on the road.
Car ownership opened up many new opportunities for American society. It allowed people to travel long distances for work or pleasure without having to depend on others, and it enabled them to choose where they wanted to live in relation to their jobs. In addition, having a car meant being able to visit people who lived far away from home.
As time went by, more and more families acquired one or more cars. At present, there are over 1.4 billion cars in operation worldwide. Most of these are passenger cars, and over three trillion miles (five trillion kilometers) are traveled by them each year. The automobile is the most important mode of personal transport, a symbol of a new lifestyle, and an economic force that is changing the world.
Although some of the original manufacturers have dissolved and others are no longer in business, today the industry is dominated by big multinational corporations that produce hundreds of models each year. The companies employ thousands of engineers and scientists to develop the body, chassis, engine, and other components of their vehicles. In recent years, new technical developments have also been incorporated to improve safety features and fuel efficiency.
The newest models of automobiles offer the latest in technological innovations. They are available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and sizes. These vehicles can be equipped with different options, including advanced navigation systems and infotainment systems. Some of them are even designed to be eco-friendly. In the United States, there are numerous auto shows each year where consumers can check out the latest vehicles. The best car for you depends on your specific needs and budget. A compact model is a good choice for fuel economy and space, while the Toyota Corolla has been ranked as one of the most reliable cars by J.D. Power and has received high marks from Consumer Reports and Kelley Blue Book. If you need to haul a lot of cargo, a midsize SUV might be more suitable because it has great storage capacity and offers rugged durability. The Chevrolet Tahoe and the Ford Expedition are both excellent choices. The Hyundai Santa Fe is another great option for a family vehicle. It has a quiet interior, an excellent fuel economy, and user-friendly tech features.