What Are Automobiles?

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Automobiles are wheeled vehicles designed for the transport of people. They are powered by a gas, diesel or alternative fuel engine and may be equipped with four or more wheels. Most definitions of automobile include a capacity for one to seven people and the ability to travel primarily on roads at speeds that allow the driver to maintain control.

The earliest recorded automobiles were steam engines attached to wagons in the late 18th century. These were heavy and slow to operate, but they became faster with later improvements. The modern automobile uses an internal combustion engine fueled by gasoline, diesel or kerosene. The explosion of this fuel in the engine cylinder causes it to push down on the piston, and the crankshaft turns the wheels.

Today, there are more than 1.4 billion passenger cars in operation, with the vast majority of them in the United States. These vehicles travel over three trillion miles (five trillion kilometres) each year on the country’s roads. There are also hundreds of models produced by major car manufacturers. Some of these are designed for high-speed driving on highways, while others are designed for off-road and utility use.

Having your own car means being able to go on trips with family members and friends whenever you want, without having to rely on public transportation. A vehicle also makes it easier to run errands and spend time with your loved ones without worrying about being late for an important meeting or event.