A vehicle with a motor that powers it and usually moves on land. It has four wheels and is usually powered by an internal combustion engine that runs on a volatile fuel like gasoline, diesel or kerosene. Automobiles are a very important part of modern life and the branches of engineering that deal with automobiles are known as automotive engineering.
The earliest cars were steam engines attached to wagons in the late 18th century. But these were slow and hard to control. Then in the early 1900s, a German engineer invented the internal combustion engine. This made these vehicles much faster and easier to control.
These new automobiles led to a rise in leisure activities like vacations, travel and entertainment. And they helped people move to places where they could find work. Then there was a need for more and better roads and highways. And industries and services that provided parts, gas, tires and oil for the cars grew.
Many people still rely on automobiles today. But the use of automobiles can be harmful to the environment. They can cause pollution when too many are used in small areas like cities. They can also slow traffic when they get into a jam. And they can be dangerous to drivers and passengers if they crash.
Getting around without an automobile can be difficult. But it can be even more challenging when there is a shortage of public transportation. People who do not have a car must rely on others to take them where they need to go. This can be frustrating and time consuming. It can also be stressful if you are ill or injured.