An automobile is a self-propelled passenger vehicle that runs on road. Today automobiles are very important for people and play a major role in the society. The branches of engineering that deal with the manufacture and technologies of these vehicles are called Automobiles Engineering. The history of the automobile is quite long and its origin dates back to Leonardo da Vinci’s designs. The first true automobiles were powered by steam, electric, or gas engines. The current automobiles are driven by petrol or diesel engines. There are various types of automobiles available today ranging from sports cars to luxury cars.
The automobile transformed American life in the twentieth century. It created new jobs and industries supplying parts, fuel, tires, and services like oil stations. It encouraged family vacations and helped rural dwellers to shop in cities. Teenagers gained independence with driving freedom, and dating couples discovered a private space for intimacy. The car also brought problems such as traffic jams and accidents; and pollution from exhaust gases. It brought new laws and government requirements such as seatbelts and driver’s licenses.
The modern automobile is usually built on a frame with four to eight wheels. Its power is transmitted to the front or rear or all four wheels by an internal-combustion engine (or electric motor). Most modern automobiles are gasoline fueled, but some use alternative fuels such as natural gas and electricity. Some are designed with the engine located just forward of the front wheels, while others place it behind the rear wheels for better weight distribution.