The Evolution of Automobiles
The automobile has become an integral part of modern society, changing nearly every facet of our lives. It has spawned industries and jobs related to the manufacture and repair of vehicles, fuels and their parts, as well as for services like gas stations and convenience stores. It has influenced the design of cities and the layouts of highways. It has given people the freedom to live in a variety of places and to choose where they want to work in relation to where they live. It has facilitated the expansion of business opportunities, and it has made possible personal vacation travel. The automobile also gave rise to mass production techniques that have been applied to virtually every industry.
The term “automobile” derives from the French words for “movable self” or “car that runs on its own.” Various definitions of automobiles have popped up over time, but most agree that an automobile is a four-wheeled passenger vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine, usually using gasoline or another fuel to drive the wheels. Most people drive their cars on roads and use them to transport themselves, although some are designed to carry cargo.
Automobiles can be very complex machines, and their engineering is a subject of interest in many technical fields, including electrical and mechanical engineering. But even a basic car requires sophisticated systems that must work in tandem to make the automobile run smoothly and safely. For example, the modern automobile has a system similar to the human circulatory system that provides coolant, lubricating oil and fuel to the engine.